A new process from Prodrive will make carbon composite components easier to incorporate into premium and luxury vehicles.
Features normally added in a separate operation, such as clips and inserts for threaded fasteners, can now be moulded straight onto the back of high quality composite panels, producing a more cost-effective part than a traditional assembly, and one with greater mechanical strength.
Prodrive Composites engineering manager, Gary White explains;
One of the challenges of using carbon composite panels is the provision of fastenings for their attachment, which can lead to costly, intricate components. Conventional solutions involve creating a complex carbon shape to carry the fittings. By moulding onto the finished composite, we can match the convenience of an injection-moulded plastic part at a fraction of the cost, while providing the low weight, strength and superb display surface of carbon.
In most automotive applications, Prodrive supplies the vehicle manufacturer directly, Parts made using the new process have passed the full range of OEM tests and the company are now ramping up to supply production vehicles.