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AUG 2016

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CompositesWorld.com 35 NEWS CFRP Stabilizer Bar Production 7 These pre-production CFRP stabilizer bars for the VW XL1 passed all OEM- mandated tests in IFA Composite's extensive test center. 5 CNC machining centers, like these used for IFA's composite leaf springs, will be used to finish demolded stabilizer bars as production volumes increase. 6 Finished prototype and production parts are NDT tested using automated ultrasound scanning. process can be readily scaled to semi-automated and then fully automated production." Next came refinement of the CFRP structural design, based on each program's specific requirements. For example, the front and rear stabilizer bars for the XL1 are mono- lithic and hollow. Schulz explains that they are molded in a steel cavity tool, using a customized blow molding process, inner silicone bladder and air pressure. Because this molding system accommodates a wide range of laminate thicknesses, it enables nearly infinite stiffness variations within the same outer shape by varying the fiber layup. Each bar also varies in cross-sectional shape, having round as well as oval or even nearly square sections. "e path of the composite bar is not limited to bends, as traditionally used in steel production, but allows far more complex, organic freeform spline sections," says Schulz. (Splines, in computer design, refers to curves that connect or are defined by two or more specific points.) All of this enables significant design freedom during the CAD and FEA processes, for which IFA Technology and IFA Composite use the composites software suite from ANSYS (Canonsburg, PA, US). e outcome of these efforts is a part made using carbon fiber prepreg. "is choice allows for superior consolidation in the parts, resulting in consistent stiffness and lifetime expectancy," says Schulz. Source | IFA Composite GmbH Source | IFA Composite GmbH Source | IFA Composite GmbH Read this article online | short.compositesworld.com/CFStabBar Read more about this topic in "Composite leaf springs: Saving weight in production suspension systems" online | short.compositesworld.com/leafspring Read more about IFA in "World's first glass fiber leaf spring for 40-ton trucks" online | short.compositesworld.com/40TonLeaf

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