The modular Body in White structure.
The modular Body in White structure.

Solvay and engineering company Penso say that they have successfully developed the composite design, material and manufacturing technologies required to create a modular, multi-material Body in White structure that can be produced in large volumes. Body in White refers to the stage in automotive manufacturing in which a car body's components have been joined together.

The companies were awarded a multi-million pound grant in 2017 by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), a UK non-profit that focuses on low carbon emissions, for the project, which was entitled Flexible Lightweight Architecture for Volume Applications (FLAVA).

According to Solvay, the technologies allow the car bodies to meet emission legislation and have a flexible design, structural integration, lightweighting, and easier logistics.

‘Solvay, through FLAVA, was able to further demonstrate composite part manufacture process readiness for large scale production by investing in R&D (product development and automation), industrialising our composite manufacture and contributing to establish a supply chain for end-customers,’ said Gerald Perrin, automotive global growth director for Solvay Composite Materials. ‘FLAVA is a stepping stone for Solvay on our industrialization roadmap.’

This story uses material from Solvay, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.