Hybrid Graphite Fiber Composites for the Automotive Industry 791037
This paper summarizes the status of hybrid graphite fiber composites as related to the automotive industry. Included are: (1) basic raw material forms available for use in hybrid construction, (2) relative tensile properties of unidirectional composites as compared with hybrid forms being developed, (3) some example applications, with emphasis on raw materials and construction, and (4) projected economics for the potential use of hybrid materials. Over the past several years, raw material suppliers have concentrated on developing material forms suitable for high-volume manufacture of automotive parts. Emphasis has been on the more economical hybrid construction. In general, hybrid graphite construction includes between 5 and 25% graphite reinforcement, with the balance being fiberglass and resin. Future economics based on projected escalation curves look favorable for hybrid graphite composites as a result of anticipated reduced fiber prices.