Fri 06, Apr 2018
Composite leaf springs are not new to the automotive industry. Chevrolet Corvette has been using composite leaf springs on both front and rear locations at the transversal position since 1981. Composite leaf springs offer several benefits over steel leaf springs, such as high durability, greater flexibility, better vibration energy absorption, and fatigue resistance. Composite leaf spring is about five times more durable than similarly-sized steel leaf springs. The biggest advantage of composite leaf spring is its significant weight savings. It is about 1/7th the weight of a steel leaf spring.
According to Stratview Research, the composite leaf springs market is expected to grow at an attractive CAGR of 10.0% over the next five years to reach US$ 72.3 million in 2022. New product development, capacity expansion, and process optimization are the key strategies adopted by the major players in the value chain to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Hexcel is one such player which is constantly seeking ways to ensure that customers obtain the maximum benefit from composites. Hexcel’s automotive promotions at JEC World 2018 included a new prepreg for composite leaf springs, HexPly® M901. Hexcel’s HexPly® M901 prepreg raises the bar further, reducing mold cure time below 15 minutes, a 50% reduction compared to standard industrial prepregs. HexPly® M901 provides 15% higher mechanical performance, with enhanced fatigue properties. It also operates at high temperatures, providing a Tg of up to 200°C following a post cure. Hexcel’s expertise in manufacturing heavy weight glass UD prepregs, with fiber areal weights of up to 1600gsm, allows the company to offer a highly cost-competitive solution for the rapid manufacture of these safety critical components.
News Source: Hexcel
Image Source: Henkel