Carbon fiber composite cross member structures including T-Igel® composite-to-metal connections
The hybrid metal-to-composite cross member structures from TEUFELBERGER are adapted to the load specifications and design space requirements of our customers. Their torsional and flexural rigidity can be adjusted as defined via fiber angles, layer thicknesses, and fiber types. T-Igel® connections ensure the safe and simple transmission of forces to the chassis. The cross members can even be provided with additional functions such as the integration of a pressure tank.
Composite cross members are certified in cooperation with the customer
Cross members are part of the chassis and the vehicle body and thus key elements for the stability (torsional rigidity) and safety of the vehicle in a crash. They are arranged in both the front and rear sections of the vehicle; in commercial vehicles, several cross members are mounted along the length of the chassis. Conventional hollow profile structures made of sheet steel have considerable weight and take up a lot of space.
TEUFELBERGER reduces the weight of these components by providing composite cross members. With its T-Igel® connections, it ensures that the connection to the metallic frame structure can be designed in a simple and conventional fashion. In addition, we utilize the available space inside the cross members to integrate lightweight plastic pressure tanks (e.g., brake air reservoirs for commercial vehicles) right during the manufacturing process. The installation space saved in this way can be used for additional components or bigger mounted structures.
Developed by TEUFELBERGER, the procedural mix of filament winding and braiding in combination with the RTM process has proven to be of particular benefit to our customers. Here, wound filament layers disposed on the inside absorb the internal compressive forces, while braided layers on the outside absorb the torsional, tensile, and compressive forces. This ensures a clear-cut separation of functions. Moreover, the metallic T-Igel® end pieces can be used as pressure caps and also for connection to the vehicle structure. Since the plastic pressure tank (e.g., HDPE) also serves as a core, no demolding step is needed after the RTM process. Additional braided layers at the outer side of the component provide a high degree of impact and explosion protection. Thus, there is now nothing in the way of the integration of fuel cell tanks, battery packs, or sensors into cross members.
Our composite frame structures in use – a case study from the commercial vehicles segment
A current development project from the commercial vehicles segment demonstrates how composite frame structures from TEUFELBERGER can be successful in practical use. Together with the MAGNA Engineering Center Steyr, we developed a cross member including a functionally integrated pressure tank. In this project, we were responsible for process development and the production of the functional composite demonstrator.
In addition to the manufacturing technologies used, i.e., braiding, winding, and RTM, the T-Igel® connection technology was integrated in connection with the metallic end caps of the tank. This way, it was possible to create a highly load-bearing cross member with an integrated pressure tank. The technical dimensions of this cross member – length: 1.5 m, diameter: 280 mm, CFRP wall thickness: 15 mm – result in a functional component that resists a torsional moment of 30 kNm, with torsional stiffness being 15 kNm/degree.
The hybrid metal-to-composite cross member structures from TEUFELBERGER is used by
- Passenger cars
- Commercial vehicles
Depending on customer requirements our cross members are used in the following variations:
- Carbon fibers or carbon/glass fiber hybrids
- With or without metallic T-Igel® connection
- With or without integrated HDPE pressure tank
- In straight or angled design with any given cross-section and with/without variation in cross-section
StabilizersUltra-lightweight CFRP stabilizers for premium automotive applications
Drive shaftsCarbon fiber T-Igel® drive and prop shafts for race cars, passenger cars, and commercial vehicles
Struts and control armsStruts and control arms of carbon fiber reinforced plastic for chassis and vehicle body