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A super-lightweight, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) chassis designed and built for the new Hyundai Intrado hydrogen-powered crossover concept car has been recognized at this year's UK Composites Industry Awards. The Axontex 3D beam car chassis design was developed by Axon Automotive Ltd (part of Far-UK) in collaboration with Hyundai. Prototypes were produced in the UK for Hyundai by Axon Automotive at its factory in Northamptonshire.

November 17, 2015

2 Min Read
Hyundai's hydrogen crossover employs CFRP chassis

A super-lightweight, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) chassis designed and built for the new Hyundai Intrado hydrogen-powered crossover concept car has been recognized at this year's UK Composites Industry Awards. The Axontex 3D beam car chassis design was developed by Axon Automotive Ltd (part of Far-UK) in collaboration with Hyundai. Prototypes were produced in the UK for Hyundai by Axon Automotive at its factory in Northamptonshire.

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CFRP chassis is as strong as steel and 60% lighter.

The Intrado's chassis is made up entirely of molded parts fabricated using Axon Automotive's patented Axontex structural beam composite technology. Crestapol 1250LV acrylic thermoset from Scott Bader (Northamptonshire) is the specified infusion resin, that is vacuum assisted resin transfer molded (VARTM) around the 3D beam design, which combines woven carbon fiber braided tubing around low density polyethylene (LDPE) preforms that foam and expand during infusion. Using this design and process, which can be fully automated, Axontex can be used to form both straight and curved components to create complex shaped assembled structures.

All of the chassis and frame CFRP components are robotically bonded together using Crestabond M1-20 primer-less structural adhesive, with no mechanical fixings needed. The result is an automotive chassis with the strength and stiffness of a similar steel structure, but with over 60% saving in the overall chassis weight.  

According to Kevin Lindsey, Far-UK's Technical Director, and one of the original Axon Automotive team which developed this technology with Scott Bader, an Axontex CFRP part is as strong as steel and 60% lighter, enabling this versatile composite 3D beam system to be used for a wide range of structural applications to provide enhanced vehicle performance and fuel cost savings of up to 20%, while meeting crash safety standards.

The combination of the superior mechanical properties of Crestapol 1250LV resin with the Axontex technology's internal web configuration produces molded CFRP chassis parts which are extremely light, yet provides the very high stiffness and strength properties needed; an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of 900-1000 MPa (to BS 2282 Part 4) combined with a heat deflection temperature (HDT) of over 130oC have been consistently recorded during extensive testing of the Axontex composite system.

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