The reasons for replacing materials such as aluminium, iron and steel with components made of fibre-reinforced composites are manifold: Lower raw material costs, weight and energy consumption coupled with greater safety, a longer lifecycle and greater flexibility when forming the components...
But the primary objective of the engineers always remains the same: Making the vehicles even better. SAERTEX products have already been helping to achieve this objective for many years. They have been incorporated into the outer skin as “Class A surfaces” and used for making structural components in the bodywork, doors, rear bulkheads and B-pillars. In passenger cars and commercial vehicles – such as rail vehicles, trucks, buses and functional vehicles (caravans, trailers, fire service vehicles etc.) – SAERTEX non-crimp fabrics are also used for example in wheel rims, wind deflectors, driver’s cabs and bodywork.
As a qualified series supplier to well-known OEMs in the automotive industry, SAERTEX has many years of project experience in the sector. SAERTEX operates as a direct TIER 1 supplier, but also as a TIER 2 supplier for component manufacturers in the vehicle manufacturing sector.
The range of applications for our products not only encompasses the leading names in sportscar and motor sport applications – such as the roof of the Lamborghini Aventador for instance. SAERTEX NCFs are also used in the production of large series production vehicles.
As a partner to the automotive industry, we are also geared towards training the vehicle engineers of tomorrow. We sponsor several research and development teams, such as the FORMULA STUDENT team in Germany and the DEEP ORANGE team at Clemson University (CU-ICAR) in the USA.
SAERTEX is often already part of the project team even before the component development stage commences. Together with our customers, we develop individually tailored glass, carbon and hybrid technical fabrics and provide support during the selection of materials. This includes draping tests, impregnation tests, mechanical tests and the construction of prototypes.
By processing “heavy tow material”, we supply multiaxial carbon mats specifically for use in safety-relevant structural elements of the bodywork. Our well-developed network of partners allows us to incorporate glass and carbon fibres into our fabrics from almost all of the major fibre producers.
Our special SAERcore functional fabric is frequently used in the sector of mobile commercial vehicles. In particular where components are made using sandwich construction methods, such as floor pans and trailer bodywork, our patented SAERfoam development delivers an excellent solution.
Specifically for the use of leaf springs in trucks and passenger vehicles, SAERTEX has developed Ultra Fatigue UD. This unidirectional fiberglass non-crimp fabric is 50% lighter than steel and offers longer operational life and improved fatigue properties. Processed in the RTM method, it can be used with epoxy and PU resins and is ideal for high volume production.
Current examples of applications:
SAERTEX fabrics, also known as NCFs (non-crimp fabrics), are characterised by stretched fibres within the individual layers. In comparison with crimped fibres, as found in woven textiles for instance, straight lay-up (non-crimp) fibres have the greatest possible load-bearing capacity.
Scientists and students at the École de technologie supérieure in Montreal have been working on the research and development of solar vehicles. To date, this has resulted in nine vehicle prototypes powered exclusively by solar energy and named “Eclipse”.