Everberg, Belgium -- Two years after the launch of a European composites project, Hivocomp, in 2010, the group said the project hasdeveloped a deeper understanding of composite material behaviour and isshowing "intriguing material properties both in its thermoset and itsthermoplastic systems."
Hivocomp's 23 Oct announcement said thework is now "gradually shifting focus from material research to theproduction of composite parts for real-life applications, translatingthe resin and fibre properties to an improved performance of thecomposite parts."
The fifth meeting of the project took place 11-12 Oct 2012 at the Huntsman Polyurethanes premises at Everburg, near Leuven, Belgium.
Huntsman Corp.'s polyurethanes division joined this European collaborative research project focused on advancing composite materials technology in mid 2011.
Hivocomp is a consortium of automotive manufacturers, materials scientists and academics that have joined forces to increase the use of composite materials in the production of vehicles, Huntsman said.
As well as Huntsman, partners include three large automotive OEMs (VW, Daimler, Fiat Research Centre), luggage manufacturer Samsonite and six universities involved in composite materials research in Europe.
The group aim was to develop two material systems that show promise for cost-effective, high-volume production of high-performance carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts.
Over the four years, Hivocomp partners are working together to significantly speed up the composites production process for high-volume products, a key factor in establishing plastics in commercial vehicles.
The performance, production cost and recyclability of new CFRP material systems are being thoroughly tested to ensure the results reach and exceed cost, safety and environmental targets. Validated demonstrator parts will be produced in 2013.
Hivocomp stands for: "advanced materials enabling HIgh-VOlume road transport applications of lightweight structural COMPosite parts."
The next meeting will take place around February-March 2012.