Advanced Thermoplastic Composites for Automotive Semi-Structural Applications 2009-26-0086
Composite materials have found applications in the aviation industry because of an appropriate combination of properties - high stiffness, high heat performance and lower specific gravities. The Automotive industry has similar needs, and the application of composites in semi-structural application is a natural next phase. This is also necessitated because of global emphases on fuel efficiency and safety considerations in automotive applications. In this paper, thermoplastic composite material technology solutions and case studies for a number of applications, such as front-end-modules, door modules and instrument panel carriers are presented. Since processing and material modeling of composites is of critical importance in the design process, this paper also describes a new definition of isotropic properties of long glass composites, and perhaps the only way of honestly comparing such materials. This method is now accepted as an European Alliance for Thermoplastic Composite (EATC) standard.