Using the multi-functional Engel v-Duo 1700 tonne press, the Automotive Composites Research group performs R&D and demonstration activities for all high-volume automotive candidate processes: prepreg compression moulding, SMC compression moulding, thermoplastic rapid stamp forming and multi-material compression moulding.
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Recognising the key to high volume automotive composite manufacture is automation, the ACRC is equipped with an automated cutting table, robotic pick and place for automated lay-up and loading on the Engel v-Duo and the preforming line.
With a dedicated 150 tonne preforming cell with a high level of automation and advanced material handling, the focus is on complex preforming of dry fabrics, dry NCF and pre-impregnated thermoset or thermoplastic composite materials.
The Hennecke Streamline system located at the ACRC is suitable for HP-RTM with seamless integration with the Engel v-Duo press.
The ACRC offers both mechanical and analytical materials characterisation using state of the art facilities. This characterisation capability is critical in the optimisation of manufacturing processes and is also used to provide high-quality input data for predictive CAE activities and subsequent validation of models.
The ACRC focuses on developing reliable process simulation capability for the key manufacturing processes: SMC compression moulding, complex preforming and resin transfer moulding.
High Volume Automotive Composite Manufacturing
We offer design for manufacture support to our partners drawing on the team’s knowledge and expertise in composites materials and manufacturing.
Using our characterisation techniques to analyse novel materials and our state of the art production facilities to develop and demonstrate innovative processes we collaborate with our partners to find the best materials, optimised for application according to industry requirements.
Working with industry to develop high volume composites manufacturing processes for automotive applications.
Within our dedicated facility we transition new technologies from the laboratory through to high volume production readiness for both thermoset and thermoplastic composite components.