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Application of Fiberglass Reinforced Composites in Automobiles
 July 14, 2022
 
Non-metallic materials used in automobiles include plastics, rubber, adhesive sealants, friction materials, woven fiberglass fabrics, glass fiber matting and other materials, involving petrochemical, light industry, textile,fiberglass building materials and other related industrial sectors, so non-metallic materials are used in automobiles It reflects the comprehensive strength of a country's economy and technology, and also includes the technological development and application capabilities of a large number of related industries.
 
Glass fiber reinforced composite materials currently used in automobiles include: glass fiber reinforced materials thermoplastic (QFRTP), glass mat reinforced thermoplastic (GMT), fiberglass for sheet molding compound (SMC), resin transfer molding (RTM) and hand lay-up FRP products.

At present, the glass fiber reinforced plastics used in automobiles mainly include: glass fiber for PP, glass fiber reinforced PA66 or PA6, and a small amount of PBT and PPO materials.
 
 
Reinforced PP is mainly used to make products such as engine cooling fan blades, upper and lower covers of timing belts, but some products have defects such as poor appearance and warping, so non-functional parts are gradually filled with PP such as talcum powder and other inorganic fillers. alternative.

Reinforced PA materials have been used in passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and are generally used to make some small functional parts, such as: lock body guards, safety wedges, embedded nuts, accelerator pedals, shift upper and lower guards - Protective cover, opening handle, etc. If the quality of the material selected by the parts manufacturer is unstable, the production process is improperly used or the material is not dried well, the weak part of the product will break.

Plastic intake manifold is a new technology developed in recent years. Compared with aluminum alloy cast intake manifold, it has the advantages of light weight, smooth inner surface, shock absorption and heat insulation, etc., so it is widely used in foreign automobiles. , All the materials used in it are glass fiber reinforced PA66 or PA6, mainly using fusion core method or vibration friction welding method. At present, relevant domestic units have carried out research in this area and achieved phased results.
 
 
With the requirements of lightweight and environmental protection in automobiles, foreign automobile industries are more and more inclined to use GMT materials to meet the needs of structural components, mainly because GMT materials have good toughness, short molding cycle, high production efficiency, and low processing costs. , does not pollute the environment and a series of advantages, is regarded as one of the materials in the 21st century, mainly used in the production of passenger car multi-function brackets, instrument panel brackets, seat frames, engine guards, battery brackets, etc. FAW-Volkswagen currently The production Audi A6, and A4 cars have adopted GMT material, but have not achieved local production.

In order to improve the quality of the whole vehicle to catch up with the international advanced level and achieve the purpose of weight reduction, shock absorption and noise reduction, relevant domestic units have carried out research on the production of GMT materials and product molding processes during the 8th and 9th five-year period, and have mass production. The production line with an annual output of 3,000 tons of glassfiber needle mat materials has been built in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, and domestic automobile manufacturers have also adopted GMT materials in the design of some models, and have started batch trial production.
 
 
Sheet Molding Compound (SMC) is an important glass fiber reinforced thermosetting plastic, which has been widely used in automobiles due to its excellent properties, mass production and A-grade surface. At present, there has been new progress in the application of foreign SMC materials in automobiles. Now, the largest application of SMC roving in automobiles is body panels, accounting for 70% of the amount of SMC. The fastest growing are structural parts and transmission parts. In the next 5 years, the amount of SMC in automobiles will continue to increase by 22% to 71%, while the growth rate in other industries is 13% to 35%.
 
Why use glass fiber reinforced plastic (FRP)
 
From an automaker's point of view, FRP is an attractive alternative material compared to other materials, such as SMC/BMC:

●Save weight

●Component integration

●Freedom of design

● much less investment

●Make the integrated antenna system a reality

●Compatible with E-coat (electronic coating) (online color customization)

Dimensionally stable (low coefficient of linear thermal expansion, comparable to steel)

●Maintain high mechanical properties under high temperature conditions
 
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