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15th November 2019, Seoul

UD carbon to replace steel engine bracket

The bracket is 80% lighter than steel and recyclable due to the use of thermoplastic materials. © Hanyang University

The bracket is 80% lighter than steel and recyclable due to the use of thermoplastic materials. © Hanyang University

Hanyang University in South Korea received the JEC Asia Innovation Award in the Structural Automotive category at a ceremony in Seoul held on 14 November.

The award recognised the university’s work with Kolon Plastics and Hyundai Motors on the development of a lightweight and noise-damping engine bracket developed by the compression moulding of chopped and continuous unidirectional carbon prepreg.

A conventional steel engine bracket is usually needed to support the engine and reduce the noise and vibration and since its shape is complex, it is difficult to manufacture using continuous fabrics such as pregreg, wovens or non-crimp fabrics.

Thermoplastic carbon UD tapes of Kolon Plastic’s carbon/PA6 wre chopped for the major portion of the complex engine bracket and further UD carbon tapes inserted to enhance the stiffness and strength and achieve both mouldability and stiffness.

Very importantly, the developed product can absorb vibration and noise, as efficiently as the original steel product. To be suitable for mass production, a compression moulding process has been developed, and the cycle time reduced to less than 10 minutes. This short cycle process significantly contributes to the lower price of the product in mass production.

The bracket is 80% lighter than steel and recyclable due to the use of thermoplastic materials.

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