Composite structure

Composite structure

Fibre reinforced polymer composites have gained a substantial interest over the last years mainly thanks to its high stiffness and strength, their incredible energy absorption rate, the noise pollution reduction capabilities and for the excellent resistance to fatigue. But the use of lightweight construction materials has always been explored and tested in the car design industry since its very beginning, since their direct impact on driving dynamics, agility and fuel consumption became clear. However the high costs and the difficulty of the manufacturing techniques involved have always made their mass production and usage almost impossible, if not for premium cars. But the innovative low-cost fibre-reinforced composite structure of WEEVIL is about to change things.

composite-made-structureThis innovative material, that is the main responsible for the safety and weight characteristics of the vehicle, has been developed with an excellent energy absorbing characteristics in crash events. In fact its Specific Energy Absortion (SEA) is 3 times higher than any other metal part used in regular automobiles.

Like every other element that composes WEEVIL even this innovative composite structure is conceived to provide our users with both a good performance level and an affordable price. Here’s why, while all the other carmakers are still stuck with the downgraded version of these materials and keep on using them only for their premium vehicle, IRUENA – WEEVIL consortium partner – recently developed a high-productivity pultrusion technique that can produce straight composite parts at a fast and mass production level enabling their cost-effective use. This highly cutting-edge technique allows to shape the structure before the curing, that occurs out of the mould, is finished. A new process through which the pulling forces can be 3 order of magnitudes smaller than usual. Moreover the mould gets smaller and cheaper and the machines can be downsized up to a portable dimension so that they can be taken right there where they are needed.

But if innovation and sustainability weren’t enough, this structure will convince even the most sceptical drivers with its incredible safety that is similar to the one of Lotus Evora – substituting its enduring aluminium rails with pultruded composite rails – and Smart Fortwo – which has proven the potential safety characteristics of smaller cars in crash tests against full-size SUVs.