Reinforced Plastics Volume 61, Number 3 May/June 2017
A door for a hydrogen powered car has been build using flax supplied by materials specialist Composites Evolution. The door panel, developed by NetComposites, KS Composites and Riversimple for the Rasa hydrogen fuel cell car, has been built using a carbon/flax hybrid microsandwich which reportedly combines the mechanical benefits of carbon with the added advantages of reduced weight, cost, NVH and environmental impact of flax. The need to reduce weight to improve vehicle efficiency and range is leading to the adoption of carbon fiber, which is relatively expensive, energy/CO2 intensive, and can cause noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues, the company says. ‘However, flax is a natural fiber which is low cost, low density, sustainable and has improved vibration damping properties, and has been shown to work well when combined with carbon fiber in hybrid composite structures.’ ‘The Riversimple Rasa door panel demonstrates the great technical, economic and environmental benefits of the flax/carbon hybrid composites,’ said Brendon Weager, technical director at Composites Evolution.
Car door features carbon/flax hybrid
A door for a hydrogen powered car has been build using flax supplied by a materials specialist.
‘This lightweight materials technology fits well with the ethos of Riversimple and zero emission vehicles as a whole. We fully expect this technology to be rolled out to a
wider range of components in the near future.’ Composites Evolution; www.compositesevolution.com
Lightweight composite bridge installed in British Columbia Composite Advantage, a manufacturer of very large fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite parts, has installed a prefabricated, lightweight bridge to replace an old vehicle bridge in the city of Trail, British Columbia. The bridge features FRP panels specified in four different shapes ranging from wide to narrow including a trapezoid shape for transition and cut-outs to accommodate steel mast and prefabricated with LED lighting and features that included crowns, curbs, flexible shapes and rail connections. Insets were also molded into the undersides of the FRP panels to clear splices and bolts in the steel girders. The deck width for the bridge’s tower section was 7 m, while the structure’s span section was 4 m wide. The
Composite Advantage has installed a prefabricated, lightweight bridge to replace an old vehicle bridge in British Columbia.
tower deck panels had a variable thickness from 79 mm to 145 mm with a 2% crown in the center of the deck panels. The span
sections were prefabricated with a variable thickness ranging from 109 mm to 145 mm with a 2% crown in the center of the deck panel. ‘There were a couple of challenges that made FRP composites the right choice for this application,’ said Composite Advantage President Scott Reeve. ‘The pedestrian bridge deck had to be built in conjunction with the sewer pipe bridge. But that meant there was little to no access underneath the structure for installing the bridge deck panels. Rugged conditions at the river gorge also meant we needed to simplify construction at the work site.’ Composite Advantage; www.compositeadvantage.com