CompositesWorld

AUG 2016

CompositesWorld

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AUGUST 2016 32 CompositesWorld INSIDE MANUFACTURING Germany's largest producer of GRP leaf springs for cars and trucks broadens its product range to CFRP stabilizer bars, which cut weight 50% vs. steel. ยป IFA Rotorion (Haldensleben, Germany) ranks among the world's largest manufacturers of driveshafts. Founded in Haldensleben in 2005, its subsidiary, IFC Composite GmbH, now renamed IFA Composite, established a pedigree in a subset of the parent's driveshaft specialty. Using high-strength, lightweight, fiber-reinforced composites instead of steel enabled IFA to integrate additional functions and reduce weight and part count. ree-piece driveshafts could shrink to two pieces, and two- piece driveshafts became single units. e company uses filament winding, which enables efficient produc- tion of high-quality hollow parts and tubes in high volumes. Strands of dry carbon or glass fibers are wound around a reusable cylindrical or conical rotating core and then impregnated with resin. ermoset or thermoplastic matrices can be employed, as well as prepreg tapes. With an estimated market of up to 300,000 composite tubes among Germany's auto manu- facturers alone, automation is now a must (see Fig. 1, p. 33). "e use of wound fiber composite materials in automotive is growing," says Christian Schulz, the company's head of composite structural parts at sister firm IFA Technology GmbH, which develops carbon composite parts. IFA Rotorion Converting the structural chassis to composites By Ginger Gardiner / Senior Editor Successful segue into suspension After successfully supplying front and rear CFRP stabilizer bars for Volkswagen's XL1, the automaker's 1-liter sportscar showpiece, IFA Composite has developed additional structural chassis components that are now production-ready. Source | Volkswagen AG (main photo) / IFA Technology GmbH (inset, lower left)

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