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Composite materials are predicted to be the future for high volume automotive applications
because of the following advantages: they replace multiple steel parts into one composite
moulding; tooling costs are reduced at lower production volumes, allowing styling freedom and
weight reduction. Composites used in high volume automotive applications are mostly in semistructural
and non-structural parts using low fibre volume fraction and random architecture.
Future use of more advanced composites (composites aligned reinforcement in high fibre
volume fraction) would enable to reach superior specific properties compared to metallic
materials, resulting in substantial weight savings.
The present work focuses on a comparison of epoxy that is used, today, for automotive
applications to a new Polyurethane (PU) developed by Huntsman for HIVOCOMP project to
make such structural composites. The main aim of the HIVOCOMP project is to get a material
which allows weight reduction compared with the actual materials that are used in automotive
applications, mainly metals, with a competitive price, to get it HUNSTMAN has developed a resin
which allows faster cured time than epoxy, that means the decrease of the price using the PU
instead of Epoxy.
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