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Application Status Of Carbon Fiber In The Automotive Field

Aug 08, 2020

Application status of carbon fiber in the automotive field

Composite material network 4 days ago

Application performance advantages of carbon fiber in the automotive field

(1) Lightweight advantages

Carbon fiber composite materials have incomparable specific strength and specific modulus than other materials. The density is only about 1.6g/cm3, which is much lower than steel and aluminum. Applying it to the design of body and other parts can reduce the quality of the whole vehicle by 35%. For example, Volkswagen’s newly launched XL1 model with carbon fiber composite material body and parts has a total mass of only 795kg. Combined with hybrid technology, fuel consumption per 100 kilometers is only 0.9 liters.

(2) Durability advantages

Carbon fiber composite material is mainly composed of carbon fiber tow and resin material. The carbon element has stable chemical properties and does not require surface anti-corrosion treatment. It has excellent weather resistance and aging resistance, and its life span is generally 2-3 times that of steel. The fatigue strength of functional parts produced with CFRP materials is also much higher than that of steel.

(3) Security advantages

The tensile strength of carbon fiber composite materials is generally above 3500Mpa, which is 5 times that of ordinary steel. The cockpit made of carbon fiber materials has minimal deformation during collision, which can effectively protect the living space of drivers and passengers. The specially woven collision energy-absorbing structure breaks into smaller fragments in a high-speed collision and absorbs a large amount of impact energy (energy absorption is more than 3 times that of ordinary steel), which can effectively improve the passive safety of the vehicle.

Application status of carbon fiber in automobile main parts

Carbon fiber composite materials have been widely used in high-end cars, supercars, racing cars, modified cars, limited edition models, and a small number of electric vehicles.

Carbon fiber composite material application field

At present, the application of carbon fiber composite materials in auto parts is mainly distributed in the car body, interior and exterior trim, chassis system, power system and so on.

(1) Application of carbon fiber in car body

Carbon fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites have sufficient strength and rigidity and are the lightest materials for manufacturing automobile bodies. It is expected that the application of carbon fiber composite materials can reduce the weight of automobile bodies by 40%-60%, which is equivalent to 1/3-1/6 of the quality of steel structures. The British Material Systems Laboratory has conducted research on the weight reduction effect of carbon fiber composite materials. The results show that the carbon fiber reinforced polymer body weighs 172 kg, while the steel body weighs 368 kg, which is about 50% weight reduction. At present, most racing cars and some modified cars use carbon fiber composite bodywork. While reducing the weight, the composite material reduces the generation of debris when colliding, thereby improving safety.

(2) Application of carbon fiber in automobile wheels

As one of the important components to ensure the safety of the car, the wheel hub must not only bear the weight and load of the vehicle, but also transmit drive and torque. This requires extremely high quality of automobile wheels. Automobile wheels should have higher strength and impact resistance, better heat and thermal conductivity, and better durability and safety. Carbon fiber composite materials have excellent mechanical properties, heat resistance and durability, and can replace metals as wheel materials. At the same time, the use of carbon fiber materials reduces the quality of the hub, which helps to reduce the moment of inertia of the wheels, so that the vehicle has a faster starting, stopping and turning speed.

(3) Application of carbon fiber in brake system

Automobile brake linings mainly use asbestos materials, which are easy to friction and generate high temperature during braking, and thermal degradation of performance occurs, and the asbestos dust produced is carcinogenic. Carbon fiber composite material has high specific strength, good wear resistance and good heat resistance. It can be used in automobile brake pads as a substitute for asbestos. The carbon fiber brake disc can reduce the vehicle speed from 300KM/h to 50Km/h within 50m. Carbon fiber brake discs can withstand high temperatures of 2500°C with stable performance.

(4) Application of carbon fiber in interior and exterior decoration

Carbon fiber composite materials have good strength, toughness, heat resistance and aging resistance, and can improve the shortcomings of high brittleness and poor durability of traditional plastic products, and are used as automotive interior materials. Carbon fiber composite material also has higher strength and rigidity, better impact resistance, and can be used as a substitute for metal materials in automotive exterior parts. At the same time, the carbon fiber composite material has a good vibration absorption effect, has a greater cushioning effect on impact, and reduces the generation of impact debris, which improves safety. In addition, the use of carbon fiber interior and exterior materials not only achieves the lightweight effect of the car, but also simplifies the parts manufacturing process, reduces parts processing, assembly, and maintenance costs, and reduces production costs.

(5) Application of carbon fiber in drive shaft

The force of the automobile drive shaft is more complicated, especially to withstand a large torque, which requires high material performance. Carbon fiber reinforced composite material has the characteristics of anisotropy, high specific strength and relatively low specific modulus. It can better meet the needs of use instead of metal materials as a drive shaft. Carbon fiber drive shafts can not only reduce weight by 60%, but also have better fatigue resistance and durability.

(6) Application of carbon fiber in air intake system

Carbon fiber composite material as a material for automobile air intake system, on the one hand, can reduce weight and achieve lightweight effect; on the other hand, carbon fiber material can be easily processed into various curved shapes, and the surface is relatively smooth, which can effectively improve air intake efficiency.