By Nick Gilbert
On the basis of its latest analysis on the carbon fibre composites for transportation market, Frost & Sullivan has presented the 2012 European Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation to LAMILUX’s new carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) product.
Utilizing a highly automated and rapid production process, LAMILUX’s CFRP sheets can be produced up to 3.2 m in widths when compared to 1.5 m width of traditional CFRP sheets with longer lead times.
Compared to traditional materials, LAMILUX's CFRP sheets demonstrate better stiffness and strength properties, and are outstanding in decreasing vehicle weight, improving fuel efficiency and corresponding carbon footprint, lowering operational costs and boosting indirect operator revenues by increasing optimal payload capacity. The additional widths of LAMILUX's CFRP sheets make them suitable for flat panel and sandwich applications where thickness and width requirements are essential.
LAMILUX utilizes an innovative production process that delivers higher throughput rates, while maintaining the quality of the final product. At its proprietary advanced production facility, LAMILUX produces CFRP sheets in a single production line at a rate of up to 6 million m2 per year for thinner sheets, and 4 million m2 per year for thicker sheets. Four such production lines are owned by LAMILUX to meet the increasing demand.
Moreover, LAMILUX is capable of manufacturing CFRP sheets utilizing all key theromosets, which include epoxies, vinyl esters and unsaturated polyesters. LAMILUX’s CFRP sheets demonstrate a 10-fold higher tensile strength and a 20-fold higher E-modulus when compared to fibreglass. Using different compositions of resin matrix and carbon fibres, LAMILUX’s production process manipulates the strength and stiffness of its CFRP sheets.
LAMILUX’s CFRP sheets have a high glossy finish due to the application of gelcoat during the manufacturing process. This gelcoat also protects the sheets from ultraviolet radiation and provides superior weather resistance. The sheets are offered in lengths as high as 12 m and tailored shades.
Besides marketing its CFRP sheets in major markets like recreational and commercial vehicle segments, LAMILUX also supplies its products to automotive and sports equipment markets. Overall, with these properties and capabilities, LAMILUX’s low-cost CFRP sheets are a new product innovation.