As well Chrysler parts fibre compounds have been used in aerospace and rushing vehicles for many due to their unique mixture of great durability and low huge. Until lately these materials have been far too expensive for use in high-volume popular programs.
By far the real barrier to using CFRP in automotive applications has been the manufacturing time. Now that the machines are available to rapidly process parts for the automotive industry I would exect to see a big jump in applicaitons. The lightweight and strength that this class of materials brings will really have a huge impact.
I would expect the repairs to be more along the lines of replacing parts. Anything damaged would just get recycled and a new part obtained and installed. That will probably lead to manufacturing and designs more akin to electronics where we just pull the broken or failed component and replace it with a new one.
Think what impact this will have on the auto industry, less steel means lighter impact on the environment, assuming the CFRP is environmentally friendlier than steel. But for sure it will cost less to transport CFRP than steel, less to refine and process.....
This is a big breakthrough if all turns out as advertised.
I love doing fiberglass repairs on rust holes and dings in metal car parts. It's about all I can do.
Another consideration is that CFRP does not ding the way aluminum does. There were a lot of insurance claims in the Southern states after hail storms dinged aluminum car hoods last spring.
Reduced maintenance is a big pitch for composite aircraft bodies. But you're right TJ in that the maintenace techniques are different -- and still not fully developed. But the chance of holes developing at the top of aircraft fuselages around rivet stress holes is zero in a CFRP airplane.
And how many crumpled auto hoods get repaired anyway?
Nice to see someone post information of new up and coming ideas with references to back up the facts stated. Composites have been used in many boat designs and plane designs. One would think that automobile makers would look to other industries for ideas and stress testing that has all ready been done. This saves a lot of R&D time and money.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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