Johnson Controls is applying its expertise in natural fiber processing technology for interior components to vehicle exteriors; the company is using liquid resin press molding to enable series production of carbon fiber body parts. The company says that it is already supplying a well-known automotive manufacturer with its carbon components.
|Structure of the carbon body parts. Click to enlarge.|
Previously, the production of very light carbon components involved a great deal of effort and a considerable amount of manual labor.
The new process is based on a wet press process used by Johnson Controls since 2003 to produce wood fiber components for vehicle interiors. In the newly adapted process, a carbon fiber mat pre-moistened with resin is placed between the forming tools and then pressed. During the pressing cycle, the excess resin leaks onto the edge of the mold. This provides a very high fiber density in the body parts.
We are one of the pioneers in the automotive industry for large-scale production of carbon parts, thanks to our innovative production process. We are pleased to be able to transfer that technology for use in vehicle exteriors.—Han Hendriks, vice president of global product development, interiors at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience