Infoscience

Journal article

Manufacturing cost comparison of thermoplastic and thermoset RTM for an automotive floor pan

Two resin transfer moulding (RTM) processes have been examined for automotive body-in-white (BIW) structures. An epoxy system was compared with a novel reactive polyamide 12 (PA12) system via characterisation of reaction kinetics and the production of carbon fibre floor pan quadrant demonstrators incorporating typical geometrical features. Cost modelling tools were used to compare the two RTM variants for full floor-pan production at volumes of 12,500-60,000 parts per year. A 22% increase occurred for the standard TP-RTM cycle versus the epoxy system, principally due to thermal cycling of the tool that dominated the in-mould cycle time. Study of alternate preforming strategies showed that a reduction in non-crimp fabric scrap yielded major cost savings.

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