We like to take on challenges and explore ideas and possibilities that will make the world a better place. The European Commission set goals on the reduction of CO2 emissions for new passenger cars and vans. By 2025 the CO2 emissions should be 15% lower than 2021 and by 2030 it should be 30% lower.
The most cost effective way of reducing car emissions is to reduce the weight of the car. This results in less energy consumption. In order to achieve lightweight construction, automakers, suppliers, assemblers and component manufacturers are investing in R&D to replace steel with lighter materials. Composites play an important role in this.
From the VANGEST Group, Moliporex and Cadflow collaborated with INEGI and MCG. To meet the objectives of the project, we made a McPherson type suspension arm. Through FEM analyses at the design and engineering stage, we chose the strongest combination of materials: 60% glass fiber thermoplastic body reinforced by continuous unidirectional carbon fibers.
For the production of this component, hot stamping and over moulding techniques had to be implemented to develop the desired outcome. We were able to converge hot stamping and thermo-forming technologies into a one-shot process. We reduced the number of components, operations, tools and human resources required to obtain the final component, resulting in competitive production costs.
The project was carried out over 36 months with several analyses. Through comprehensive testing and intelligent design and engineering, the Latch II suspension arm resulted in a high value-added hybrid product integrating thermoplastic composites and metal components. We ended up with a 44% weight reduction compared to the metal part.
To know more about the LaTCh II project, click here to see the whole process from development to final product.