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High Volume Composite Parts for the Automotive Industry

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Wed, 14 August, 2019

Over the last three and a half years TWI has been working as part of an Innovate UK collaboration focussed on the high volume production of composite parts for the automotive sector.

The aim of ‘Project Century,’ which is due to finish at the end of August 2019, is to design a production route for a composite component with production rates above 50,000 a year while delivering a weight reduction of 30% against comparable parts. This will enable large automotive manufacturers the ability to consider composite parts instead of metal and so save weight in the car structure.

The project involved several emerging technologies through the composite supply chain, each of which could reduce the time and energy required for making complex composite parts. Together, these technologies will be able to increase the production rate of the parts to make them viable for large scale automotive manufacturers.

TWI had two roles in this project, the first was undertaken by TWI Wales and involved the NDT of the composite preforms and the cured parts. This was to determine the quality of the parts with a view to being the QA procedure. The cured composite parts were then joined together with a hybrid joint of an adhesive and a rivet at TWI Cambridge. The joining of the composite parts involved the assessment of the pre-treatments and adhesives in conjunction with modelling the joint for several in-service scenarios.

Project Century has received funding from the Innovate UK under file reference number: 102632

Figure 1: The lower control arm of a car suspension system that has been made during this project
Figure 1: The lower control arm of a car suspension system that has been made during this project

For more information please email:


contactus@twi.co.uk