BASF and Hyundai Motor to showcase RN30 Concept Car at K

Integral foam, sandwich structures deliver lightweighting, while polyphthalamide enables miniaturization of electronic components

A new concept vehicle jointly developed by BASF and Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company will feature at the former’s stand at the 2016 K Fair in Düsseldorf from 19-26 October.

Interior features materials that contribute to design, durability and eco-friendliness.

RN30 concept car is lightweighted through extensive use of rigid integral foams and semi-structural sandwich solutions.

As a racing machine designed for race tracks, it is essential for the RN30 to be lightweight and have a low center of gravity. While high-performance cars generally contain carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) to reduce weight, the partners moved away from this fixed idea and instead they explored new lightweight materials by BASF suitable for high-performance cars as an alternative. For example, due to their good flowability, BASF’s Elastolit rigid integral foam and reaction injection molding (RIM) systems developed for body panels permit the realization of even those most challenging designs like the fender and spoiler of the RN30. Combining high quality with low weight, they can even directly be painted thanks to their Class A surface.

The RN30 also features semi-structural sandwich solutions for the trunk floor, providing a considerable weight reduction as well as a highly efficient production process. BASF’s Elastoflex E, a spray impregnation polyurethane for very light and stiff sandwich structures consisting of a long-fiber reinforced surface layer and a paper honeycomb is the ideal material for these applications.

Another BASF solution is Infinergy,, said to be the world’s first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane. Combined with an elastic coating it is used in the roll bar padding of the RN30 because of its long-term durability and outstanding resilience. The integrated roll cage also serves to increase the vehicle body strength.

For the complex and compact electronic assemblies of the RN30, BASF’s new Ultramid Advanced N polyphthalamide (PPA) resin allows for miniaturization, functional integration and freedom of design. It can be used in electronic components as well as structural parts near the engine and the gearbox in contact with hot, aggressive media and different fuels.

For those parts with complex geometry such as the bucket seat shell and pan, BASF offers Ultracom, a thermoplastic composite system for parts with continuous fiber reinforcement in injection-molded structures. This allows the seat to be lighter while still maintaining optimum strength and rigidity. The seat shell and pan owe their final shape to a matched combination of semi-finished products like tapes or laminates and injection-molding compounds. In the realization of such parts, BASF’s Ultrasim simulation tool as well as its Ultratest parts testing facilities and processing technologies played a major role across the entire process chain of seat component production.

Race cars are reduced to the maximum to avoid any unnecessary ballast weight such as air conditioning. Keeping the car cool and comfortable can be achieved with heat management solutions like BASF’s near infrared-reflective films, protecting windows of the RN30 against solar heat. The entirely organic and transparent film has an advantage over metal films in that it is designed to filter out only infrared rays while allowing other rays such as light, GPS and telephone signals to pass through.

The dashboards and door panels of the RN30, meanwhile, employ a water-based binder, Acrodur, to strengthen the natural fibers and enable an environmentally compatible, dimensionally stable and, above all, lightweight solution for composites such as dashboards and door panels of the RN30.

BASF materials will also be found in Hyundai’s next generation i30 car, which will be available in early 2017. Besides the use of Ultramid polyamides in established plastic applications for powertrain and chassis components such as the transmission oil pan, cylinder head cover and air intake manifold in the i30, the company’s Catamold feedstock for metal injection molding is used in the production of dual clutch transmission parts for the because it is 50% lighter than traditional precision casting feedstocks and provides greater design freedom.

Further, Cellasto microcellular polyurethane elastomers are used to make jounce bumpers and top mounts. They help to minimize noise, vibrations and harshness, enhancing driving comfort in the i30.

Comments (0)

Please log in or to post comments.
  • Oldest First
  • Newest First
Loading Comments...