Hexcel is focusing on the benefits of automotive composites at the North American International Automotive Show (NAIAS), taking place from 14-17 January in Detroit, MI, USA.

The company’s automotive business makes a range of composite materials for structural parts, suspension systems, bodywork and interiors. At the show it will be demonstrating a Volkswagen side sill made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) with metal. The hybrid construction improves weight savings, safety, energy absorption, battery protection in a crash situation and production flexibility, the company says.

The company is also displaying a carbon/sheet molding compound transmission cross member. Hexcel says that it achieves the same stiffness and strength performance as aluminum. The part is made from the company’s HexMC carbon fiber/epoxy molding compound, manufactured from UD prepreg chips that are randomly oriented and have longer fibers than standard SMC.

This story is reprinted from material from Hexcelwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.