Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) is the world leader in vehicle light-weighting technologies, including those using carbon fiber. As we work toward formulating the next generation of lightweight materials, we can offer our customers a number of cost-effective ways to incorporate carbon fiber into their Class A or structural applications. Our Carbon Fiber Center of Excellence in Pouance, France, along with our extensive R&D capabilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan, supply the expertise necessary to formulate, design and manufacture a solution that offers optimal weight reduction while maintaining all of the necessary mechanical and surface requirements.
Carbon Fiber Capabilities
Carbon Fiber sheet molded compound
This is a reinforced, high strength structural-grade SMC, ideal for closure inners such as hoods and decklids. With a specific gravity of 1.4, this lightweight material also offers higher strength and modulus due to the chopped carbon fiber reinforcement.
Carbon Fiber RTM
Made from either a woven or recycled mat, CSP uses a fast-cure, multi-injection resin system to create structural components. Combined with CSP’s RTM system that incorporates a high performance vacuum and high-pressure injection, CSP has greatly reduced the cycle times generally associated with RTM.
A great example of how we use carbon fiber is our award-winning, multi-material decklid concept:
Carbon Fiber RTM inner; TCA Ultra Lite Outer
Weighs just 12.11 lbs. (5.5 kg.), a 13 percent weight savings over a similar decklid made from aluminum
The carbon fiber RTM structural inner component represents a number of breakthroughs in the use of recycled materials for cost-effective, mass production applications. Using pre-formed mats infused with a Hexion fast-cure, epoxy-based resin played a key role in CSP being able to successfully reduce the cycle time associated with high carbon fiber content RTM. From injection time to cure to completion, the total cycle time for this component is 2.5 to 3 minutes.