An automobile spring made of basalt fiber-based composite has been developed by Sichuan Zisheng Electromchanical Equipment.
The novelty was showcased during the conference held by Sichuan Institute of Industrial Technology located in Mianyang.
According to the head of the Sichuan Zisheng Research Center, Liu Jing, this automobile element was produced from epoxy resin reinforced with basalt fiber. In the manufacturing process, they used several molding methods, including winding and compression molding.
The struggle for more eco-friendly vehicles and less carbon footprint is pushing the manufacturers to find innovative, lightweight and durable composite materials. If they are applied, the weight of a vehicle gets less, and therefore, fuel consumption is reduced.
The designers who created the composite spring are convinced that it will be competitive in the automotive industry due to the combination of operational and cost advantages. A chance to reduce an impact on environment is attractive as well.
In terms of circular economy initiative, the materials used to make a vehicle should be recycled at the end of life cycle with the possibility of regenerating products and materials. Therefore, basalt fiber got into the focus of the European project Cradle-to-Cradle Composites.
Chinese experts claim that basalt fiber-based composites have strength properties that enable the manufacturers to produce leaf springs that are lighter than conventional ones by as much as 50-70%, while retain all the operational characteristics. This is a unique opportunity to reduce weight compared to other automotive component production.
They also point out other benefits that leaf springs made of basalt fiber-based composite offer:
- high fatigue strength
- corrosion resistance
- low noise
- good elastic characteristics
- resistance to temperature extremes
Researchers working at the Institute for Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University investigated basalt fiber as a material for producing shock-absorbing car parts. Polyamide 6 (PA6) was tested as a matrix thermoplastic material.
Sichuan Zisheng Electromechanical Equipment Co. specializes in the manufacture and sale of automobile spare parts. It is also engaged in the development, research and application of new products and processes that involve basalt fiber.
Sichuan Institute of Industrial Technology “City of Science and Technology” is located in Mianyang (Southwest China). This is the state center of excellence for scientific and technological innovations, commercialization and industrialization.
Translated by Olga Yurchenko