Solvay joins Bentley in project to build composite structures

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Materials group Solvay SA is part of a consortium with luxury car maker Bentley Motors Ltd. that will receive a United Kingdom government grant to develop high-volume automotive composite technologies.

The Heanor, England-based unit of Solvay is a member of the consortium involved in the Flexible Lightweight Architecture for Volume Applications (Flava) automotive project. The consortium also includes Coventry, England-based composites engineering and manufacturing company Penso Consulting Ltd.

Solvay said Flava will develop the composite design, material and manufacturing technologies required to implement a modular, multi-material Body-In-White (BIW) structure suited for large production volume.

Work in the project will include manufacturing composite-intensive vehicle prototypes. These are intended to provide technical and commercial solutions needed to meet emissions legislation in the European Union, focusing on design flexibility, structural integration, lightweighting, vehicle assembly and logistics simplification.

“This will demonstrate the capability of a composite supply chain to offer manufacturing processes that meet Automotive OEM quality, serial production rate and total cost of ownership requirements in standard OEM production facilities,” said Solvay.

Alex Aucken, UK automotive director in Solvay’s Composite Materials business, said: “We are honored to have been awarded this grant by the UK Government, and through this project we look forward to further develop our composite technologies portfolio to translate these technologies to the high-volume automotive market.”

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