Carbon fiber a hit in Paris

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Light-weight carbon fiber is used extensively in the SLS AMG Coupé, helping the electric-drive car reach speeds of 155 mph. (Daimler AG photo)

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers

PARIS (Oct. 4, 3:20 p.m. ET) — New uses for plastics are hitting the road in Europe, from high-end sports cars to the family van.

At the press preview for the Paris Motor Show — officially the Mondial de l’Automobile — Daimler AG rolled out its all-electric Mercedes SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive, which boasts extensive use of carbon fiber to help it offer up speeds of up to 155 mph, and a 155-mile range on its lithium-ion batteries.

The production car was shown alongside two other vehicle concepts — the B-Class Electric Drive sedan and a natural gas-driven version of the B-Class — and the electric-drive Smart Brabus.

The Mercedes builds on the Stuttgart, Germany-based auto­maker’s E-Cell design for electric vehicles, which creates a carbon-fiber “spine” that runs along the floor of the car and holds the battery pack. The carbon fiber is both light and strong enough to protect the batteries during a crash.

Daimler first showed the carbon-fiber-spine concepts in 2011, saying the composite is 50 percent lighter than a comparable steel package and 30 percent lighter than aluminum.

The AMG electric car will have 12 battery modules, each with 72 individual lithium-ion cells for a total of 865 cells. Both the cells and the liquid-cooling system for the battery use plastics extensively in frames, connectors, ducts and other components.

The batteries power four individual electric motors in an all-wheel-drive system.

The sports car also boasts carbon fiber throughout its body. A front splitter is designed to create a downforce on the front axle to improve performance. The front mirrors and the engine cover are also produced with carbon fiber.

A far-less-expensive electric car, the Neoma EV, is set to go on the road from French automaker Lumeneo using lithium-ion batteries supplied by Midland, Mich.-based Dow Kokam.

The compact car is less than 10 feet long and has a range of up to 87 miles with the battery system. It can hit speeds up to 68 miles per hour, but is targeted at urban drivers.

Production has already begun, meanwhile, on a new car for the European market. Rather than power and speed, Ford Motor Co. boasts convenience and an easier way to get the kids in the car with its B-Max.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford created the small minivan without a traditional B-pillar — the vertical structural support between the first and second row of seats.

Removing the pillar and replacing the traditional rear door with a sliding door allows van users to get into the rear seats more easily. That makes it easier to get children into car seats or large packages in and out of the vehicle. But removing the B-pillar also eliminated the traditional location for front-row seat belts.

Seat supplier Johnson Controls Inc. had to design a front seat that integrated the seat-belt mechanism and developed all-new production at new sites in Romania, near Ford’s assembly plant in Craiova.

JCI, with auto­mo­tive operations based in Plymouth, Mich., and European offices in Bur­scheid, Germany, hired 185 people for the seat-assembly plant in Craiova. It also bought Romania’s Spumotim SA in late 2011, adding its urethane foam facility in Timisoara to produce seat pads for the B-Max seats.

Carbon fiber technologies will be a featured at the Plastics in Lightweight Vehicles 2012 conference, Nov. 6-7 in Livonia, Mich. For information see www.plasticsnews.com/plv2012.


Comments

Carbon fiber a hit in Paris

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 4, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

McCann expanding in Ohio

December 17, 2014 11:59 am ET

Compounding firm McCann Plastics will spend $1.2 million on an expansion project that will create 15 new jobs at its plant in Green, Ohio.    More

Image

New extruders, repelletizer to improve production for InterGroup

December 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

InterGroup International Ltd. will install new, larger extruders and repelletizers at all three of its plastic scrap recycling locations in 2015.    More

Image

Investments allow UK's Jayplas to keep recycling supply chain at home

December 17, 2014 9:32 am ET

Corby, England-based plastics recycler Jayplas has announced the completion of a new extrusion and printing plant, together with a new packaging...    More

Image

Ecojug trims HDPE from milk jugs

December 17, 2014 8:57 am ET

United Diary Inc. has saved 1.7 million pounds of high density polythylene during the production of 80 million of its new Ecojug milk jug design...    More

Image

Amcor unveils hot-fill PET jars that accept metal lug closures

December 17, 2014 8:47 am ET

Amcor Rigid Plastics has developed hot-fill PET jars that accept metal lug closures — which the company claims is a first for food packaging.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events