The companies have also developed a production sequence using the three techniques of thermoforming, injection molding and fusion bonding in a primarily automated working facility.
The companies have also developed a production sequence using the three techniques of thermoforming, injection molding and fusion bonding in a primarily automated working facility.

SGL and partners have won the JEC Innovation Award in the Aerospace Process category for the ‘MAI Sandwich’ project, which involves using composite materials in a sandwich structure in which a light core is combined with ‘skins’ of fiber reinforced plastic on both sides.

The project was run by the Technical University of Munich with partners Airbus, BASF SE, BMW, SGL Group, Foldcore, Neenah Gessner, Neue Materialien Bayreuth and Hofmann.

Currently, producing sandwich structures takes time, making it expensive, the partners says. In traditional processes, producing a standard generic component could take a cycle time of up to one day. This project has revealed that these long cycle times can be reduced drastically to five minutes for a comparable component in the aerospace industry and to 2.5 minutes for a similar component in the automotive sector due to improved integration of the different components, including fusion bonded thermoplastic materials between the core and skins. The companies have also developed a production sequence using the three techniques of thermoforming, injection molding and fusion bonding in a primarily automated working facility.

Components with a sandwich structure are suitable for secondary structures such as floor paneling or interior lining of aircraft or underbody or seat back panels in automobiles.

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