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Chamaeleon

We're partnering with Jaguar Land Rover and GKN Land Systems to investigate the application of high volume carbon fibre composite materials as part of CHAMAELEON, a 30-month research project funded by the APC.

CHAMAELEON aims to develop UK capability to deliver high volume, lightweight materials and processing technologies to reduce weight and improve rigidity in new vehicle architectures to support electric and hybrid cars. It is anticipated that the project will result in significant reductions in CO2 and other emissions through light weighting.

A significant outcome of the project will be a new UK supply chain capable of developing materials and manufacturing process technologies that are affordable to support volume vehicle manufacture whilst being sympathetic to the environment from a life cycle impact perspective. We will manufacture a demonstrator part using the facilities available in our Materials Engineering Centre (MEC) before transitioning the tooling and manufacturing process to GKN in preparation for serial production.

CLASS

Led by Ford Motor Company, in partnership with WMG, Gestamp Chassis and GRM, the CLASS project consortium developed a new tieblade-knuckle for Led by Ford Motor Company, in partnership with WMGa Ford Class C vehicle, a key element for the car’s rear suspension.

An optimised design and manufacturing process developed by WMG enabled the researchers to replace the car’s current multiple-piece fabricated steel component with a single moulding - making a weight saving in excess of 4.5kg per vehicle, a 35% saving on the current part.

This will result in CO2 savings over the lifetime of the vehicle, and the technology is appropriate for much wider vehicle chassis and body applications.

In March 2018, the CLASS project won a JEC Innovation Award, in the Automotive Innovation category.

Composites Large Transition Project

The CLTP is a cross-centre Catapult project focussed on the complex preforming of carbon fibre dry fabric materials (woven and NCF) for moulding in a subsequent HP-RTM process. 2D forming simulations were used to support preform development while HP-RTM of the preforms was supported by permeability measurements and infusion simulations

CRASH

The HVM Catapult is funding manufacturing evaluation of a crash energy management solution which incorporates a composite structure.

ENLIGHT

Investigated a range of structural composite technologies for application in lightweight vehicle modules. WMG focused on the development and demonstration of hybrid thermoplastic composite (TPC) compression moulding.

EPOCH

EPOCH developed the automation of a complex preforming processes, incorporating net edge trimming, and demonstrated industrial capability through data acquisition of key manufacturing parameters, enabling further optimisation of the process

InterCOMP

Working with Aston Martin and Expert Tooling & Automation, the Integrated Compression Moulding Process project demonstrates automation of the composites manufacturing process from ply cutting to pick and place and finally forming and curing of the material.

Using automation reduces cycle time whilst improving reliability and repeatability of the manufacturing processes.

Equipment was developed and tailored to demonstrate double diaphragm stamp forming in a single stage moulding process.