LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIALS

Magna launches new composites centre of excellence in Germany

It will primarily focus on developing structural components, such as vehicle subframes, and exterior body parts, such as door panels and hoods

Magna’s new Composites Center of Excellence in Esslingen, Germany, aims to help European automakers meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements with lightweight structures and exterior components made of advanced materials.

The Center will primarily focus on developing structural components, such as vehicle subframes, and exterior body parts, such as door panels and hoods.

Several european automakers are pursuing joint development projects with Magna at the new center. One is interested in investigating advanced composites for use in structural rear vehicle modules, and another wants to look at composites for vehicle subframes. There is also interest in developing “class A” exterior panels using composites.

The center has a new 2,300-metric-ton Engel V-Due press that is ideally suited for thermosetcompression molding of reinforced plastic or sheet molding compound materials.

It enables development, demonstration and testing of full-size automotive parts using a wide range of thermoset composite materials and compression molding process settings. The press also linksdirectly to a testing laboratory where temperature cycles, climatic cycles, various static and dynamic tests, and microscopic examinations are performed.

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