Lightweight Door Panel Made with Bio-Based Composite Material 2012-01-0942
This paper presents a new concept for a 100% plastic prototype
automotive door panel. This concept has the potential of providing
a weight reduction of up to 40% compared to conventional steel door
panels, but with equivalent performance (static strength).
This innovative technology can be used for a variety of exterior
automotive parts. The concept includes a composite sandwich panel
combination of GFRP (glass-fiber-reinforced polymer), and LACTIF®,
which is expanded beads foam made from PLA (polylactic acid) and
developed by JSP Corporation.
This GFRP+LACTIF® composite design offers the following
characteristics: - Excellent environmental resistance, - Strong
adhesion, - Equivalent static strength (versus conventional door
panels), and - Design flexibility.
This concept also offers an alternative to conventional steel
door panel systems by using unsaturated polyester material of plant
origin as part of the GFRP composite. Using this combination with
PLA would yield a sustainable product containing up to 80%