CHONBURI, Thailand – October 10, 2022 – Responding to strong demand from major OEM customers, Cobra Advanced Composites (CAC), the automotive business of composites manufacturer Cobra International, has launched a line of fiber-based visual products flax ready for production. finishing components. The new natural fiber composite solutions offer a sustainable option over traditional carbon visual components.
CAC has been supplying automotive OEMs with lightweight composite components since 2006, focusing on visual carbon fiber prepreg parts and building a reputation as a premier global supplier to high-end automotive and motorcycle OEMs. With new European regulatory targets fast approaching, manufacturers have asked CAC to develop alternative composite technologies using more sustainable materials.
CAC used flax fiber prepregs with autoclave treatment to create the new components. Low density flax fibres, typically grown in Western Europe and much less energy intensive to produce than carbon, offer good impact resistance and excellent vibration damping making them suitable for a wide variety of parts including interior and exterior parts.
The new CAC program gives OEM customers several options for including sustainable natural fibers, with the company now offering:
- Standard visual carbon twill outer ply with flax fiber backing ply. This option retains the classic carbon look of a twill weave carbon fabric, but replaces the backing plies (often two plies) with a woven linen prepreg material.
- Visual linen twill outer ply with flax fiber backing ply. Maximizing natural fiber content with 100% flax fiber reinforcement produces the most durable construction.
- Flax fiber components painted in body color. CAC produced fully painted flax fiber parts, offering a natural fiber composite option for components where a visual fiber finish is not required.
By leveraging its strengths in clear coated carbon manufacturing and natural fiber expertise developed in other business units, CAC has successfully met the challenges of processing flax to meet stringent automotive quality standards. . By working with the world’s leading suppliers, CAC can color the protective lacquer, the epoxy resin system and even the flax fibers themselves, creating natural fiber components with a vast palette of potential colors and shades.
“Developing the highest quality flax-based visual composite solutions for our OEM customers has been challenging but rewarding,” commented Michel Roeffaers, Commercial General Manager, CAC. “I am proud of the results the team has achieved with CAC now offering a full range of natural fiber composite options that perfectly complement our traditional carbon fiber visual parts.”
Posted: October 10, 2022
Source: Cobra International Co., Ltd.