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An isocyanate-based resin system from Huntsman Corporation (The Woodlands, TX) is a key component of lightweight structural carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich panels developed jointly with Bright Lite Structures (BLS, San Francisco, CA). The technology has been employed in the production of chassis components for the Zenos E10 sports car.

September 2, 2015

2 Min Read
Carbon fiber honeycomb structure suited to mass production

An isocyanate-based resin system from Huntsman Corporation (The Woodlands, TX) is a key component of lightweight structural carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich panels developed jointly with Bright Lite Structures (BLS, San Francisco, CA). The technology has been employed in the production of chassis components for the Zenos E10 sports car.  

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Chassis components in Zenos Z10 feature a carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich panel structure.

The BLS fabrication cycle is reportedly substantially shorter than that for conventional composite materials. And unlike traditional carbon fiber composites, BLS composites are said to be suitable for high volume manufacturing.

The BLS composite fiber technology is based on proprietary structures that blend carbon fiber and other materials of varying densities. The resulting mixed structure produces the benefits of conventional carbon fiber composites, but is 15-20% lighter. The structure reportedly requires less resin and less carbon fiber compared with conventional carbon fiber composite materials. Further, there is often significantly less material waste during component production according to BLS.

Huntsman's Vitrox isocyanate-based resin technology reportedly plays a key role in enabling the fabrication of the novel chassis structure according to the company. BLS supplies the core and reinforcement package, which results in chassis that are lighter, less expensive and faster to manufacture than those made from conventional composites.  

Huntsman will feature its latest polyurethane products for the automotive industry and host a booth at the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE). The event is taking place Sept. 9-11, at The Diamond Banquet & Conference Center in Novi, Michigan. Huntsman has also entered the ACCE "Best Part" competition in conjunction with BLS, showcasing chassis components used in the E10. These include the front and rear bulkheads, the body sides, the floorpan and the cantrail. The latter component offers 35 mm more visibility and excellent stiffness.

 "We look forward to showcasing the adaptability of our Vitrox resin by participating in the 'Best Part' competition with BLS," said David Bareis, Composites Sales Manager, Huntsman Polyurethanes.

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