Carbon fibre reinforced compounds
The ICF compounds offer a comparable property profile as conventional carbon-fibre compounds at a much lower price. This now enables applications which were previously not feasible due to the high cost of materials. Specifically, it is now possible to replace highly reinforced glass-fibre materials with ICF compounds with lower reinforcement level (reducing the component weight) or to use the cheaper ICF materials in established applications with carbon-fibre reinforced thermoplastics to reduce costs. Series applications already implemented now primarily require the functions of electrical conductivity and stiffness.
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Even the most sophisticated visible components can be manufactured. Air vents, which are almost the same in all cars, typically have horizontal blades, which must be highly rigid due to their function. The components are also in the direct field of vision of the car passengers and should therefore fit into the dashboard design, particularly in terms of quality. Accordingly, the requirements for surface quality of the plastic parts are high, especially where an additional lacquering step is to be avoided. With AKROLOY® PARA ICF 40 black (6128), a very stiff material (e-module approx. 40 GPa), the Dr Schneider Group from Kronach-Neuses was not only able to meet the purely technical requirements, but also manufacture blades with excellent surface quality. These air vents are used in the current BMW 7 series.
We are familiar with carbon-fibre reinforced materials, often called CFK, from more exotic applications such as the construction of racing cars, aircraft or sports appliances. Carbon fibre can demonstrate its strengths particularly where low component weight and high stiffness are required.