DuPont is advancing its Vizilon thermoplastic composite technology in European demonstration projects with the goal of automotive lightweighting.
It’s an interesting composite: A polyamide 66 matrix is used in continuous-glass fiber woven reinforced consolidated sheets. The sheets can be stamped or thermoformed into various shapes and then can be overmolded with an engineering thermoplastic so that inserts or complex part features can be included.
Vizilon TPCs are used for the large structural floor pan, lower and upper windshield cross members and B-pillar of the Renault EOLAB prototype. The TPC floor pan is 16.5 kg lighter than a conventional steel vehicle floor, and is said to offer outstanding mechanical performance.
A Vizilon TPC oil pan concept is getting financial support from the English government as part of a light-weighting initiative called Alive6. Total project funding is $13.8 million and is led by Jaguar Land Rover.
The composite oil plan developed by DuPont and injection molder Nifco weighs 1 kg less than the steel version. It “has been engineered with continuous glass fibers that are infinitely longer than those used in normal reinforced plastics, to deliver optimum performance while remaining lightweight,” according to a press release issued by Nifco last week.
The goal of the ALIVE6 project, which was launched last year, is to create a prototype engine.