Leaf springs made of composites
More efficiency in lightweight construction

A lightweight in the car’s underbody: Leaf springs made of fiber-reinforced plastics are 60 per cent lighter than their pendants made of steel. At K 2019, KraussMaffei will exhibit a wide variety of applications that demonstrate the many possibilities of lightweight construction.

Text Petra Rehmet  Photos KraussMaffei

From idea through series production

In the composite leaf spring project, KraussMaffei's Reaction Process Machinery business unit puts its system expertise on full display. Philipp Zimmermann (Head of BU Composites) and his experts in reaction technology brought it all together to develop a leaf spring for cars, trucks and vans for the customer Hengrui. Manufactured in the HP-RTM process (high pressure resin transfer molding), it is 60 percent lighter than the previous product made of steel. Its strength can be deliberately increased in sections where it is required and the corrosion resistance offers further added value.

A high-pressure metering machine with mixing head and a mold carrier with a pressing force of 800 metric tons are the most important system components in the production of the leaf spring. KraussMaffei is the leader in RTM in all areas, with over 100 machines in the market and the largest pool of process-related expertise.

The prototype of the leaf spring was developed in our own TechCenter and our large network of partners was also involved as appropriate: Engenuity developed the component, Huntsman supplied the matrix system made of epoxy resin, Johns Manville supplied the glass fibers, Chomarat created the fabrics, Schmidt & Heinzmann manufactured the preforms, Alpex designed the RTM mold and Hufschmied (Bobingen, Germany) took charge of post-mold processing of the component by milling. KraussMaffei has taken over the project management for Hengrui and coordinates the project with the partners.

Contact

Phiilipp Zimmermann
philipp.zimmermann@kraussmaffei.com

Head of BU Composites