Everberg, Belgium -- Huntsman Corp.'s polyurethanes division has joined a European collaborative research project focused on advancing composite materials technology, the company said in a 25 July announcement.
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, project partners include three large automotive OEMs (VW, Daimler, Fiat Research Centre), luggage manufacturer Samsonite and six universities involved in composite materials research in Europe.
Over four years, HIVOCOMP partners will work together to significantly speed up the composites production process, a key factor for the establishment of plastics in the commercial vehicles market, according to the announcement.
The group will develop two material systems that show promise for cost-effective, high-volume production of high performance carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts.
The performance, production cost and recyclability of new CFRP material systems will be 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."