Composites: Dymag/Hankuk Carbon to mass manufacture carbon composite wheels; Arxada and Novoset to develop next generation composite materials

Dymag/Hankuk Carbon to mass manufacture carbon composite wheels

Composites wheels maker Dymag is in a strategic partnership with composite materials maker Hankuk Carbon Co to enable the mass production of carbon composite wheels for the world’s leading automotive OEMs.

The collaboration will leverage Dymag’s brand and experience in manufacturing lightweight carbon composite wheels for high-performance and luxury vehicle manufacturers, together with Hankuk Carbon’s expertise in advanced materials and industrialisation. This combination is expected to accelerate time-to-market and enable economies of scale in the manufacturing of carbon composite wheels in series production with a focus on a uniquely scalable and localised approach.

Dymag has led advanced wheel design since 1974 across two and four-wheels. The company was the first in the world to commercialise carbon hybrid composite automotive wheels in 2004.

Its wheels feature a carbon fibre rim with a forged aluminium or magnesium centrepiece. Dymag is also the market leader in the carbon composite wheel aftermarket with over 15 leading brands using its technology.

Hankuk Carbon has been producing composite materials, including carbon fibre textiles and prepregs since 1984. The business has grown into an international provider of composite material solutions, with plants in South Korea and Vietnam and global offices in China, UK and Germany.

The company provides specialist material solutions for many composite applications, including LNG storage tanks for marine bulk carriers and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), as well as quality prepregs for aerospace, marine and automotive markets.

Together, the two companies will work to scale up mass production of Dymag’s BX-F carbon composite wheel. This technology brings multiple advantages for automotive OEMs across all sectors, from luxury to high-performance, ICE to BEV, offering weight savings in excess of 50% over a traditional cast alloy wheel, but with far greater strength and durability.

Step change benefits include improvements in vehicle range and NVH: two huge advantages that can be applied to all vehicles, but in particular the new breed of luxury EVs, where every gram impacts performance and range, and where the ICE is no longer masking unwanted noises.

Through dramatically reduced unsprung mass, but also a reduced moment of inertia, carbon composite wheels bring benefits to ride and handling too.

With less energy required to accelerate and brake the wheel itself, it is easier to control the rotating mass, in turn making it easier to find an optimum compromise between ride and handling in suspension tuning. Another dynamic benefit is a reduced gyroscopic force thanks to the lightness of the rim itself, which means less steering effort is required.

Carbon composite wheels also bring aesthetic advantages for OEMs; a forged aluminium or magnesium centrepiece offering greater design flexibility than a solid carbon fibre wheel.

As a result, the benefits of Dymag’s carbon composite wheels are applicable to traditional high-performance road cars, high-performance and luxury electric vehicles and large SUVs and pickups, which are also becoming increasingly electrified, with Dymag wheels available in sizes of up to 23-inches – rated to 1,000kg – with even larger sizes to follow.

Arxada and Novoset to develop next generation composite materials

In other news, speciality chemicals supplier Arxada and Novoset LLC, a technology and process driven "system solution" thermoset polymer material company, are in an exclusive license agreement for the production and sale of a next generation hydrocarbon-based resin system for telecommunications and advanced semiconductor packaging. Under the terms of the agreement, Arxada will develop, manufacture and commercialise the resin system developed by Novoset.

The technology will be developed by Arxada’s Composite Materials unit, part of its Specialty Products Solutions (SPS) business. The new resin system will serve several markets including the growing 5G telecommunications segment. It will be added to Arxada’s Primaset range of high-performance thermoset resins for the telecommunication infrastructure and advanced semiconductor packaging industries, building on the success of its existing products for 3G and 4G electronic applications.

Antje Gerber, President, Specialty Products Solutions, said: “This collaboration with Novoset aligns with our strategy of designing and developing solutions for products of the future to address our customers’ needs. The addition of this new hydrocarbon resin system to our Composite Materials portfolio will further enhance our Primaset range, leveraging our existing development and innovation capabilities to expand into highly desirable markets, including the rapidly growing 5G telecommunications market.”

Dr. Sajal Das, Chief Executive Officer of Novoset added: “This agreement will enable us to leverage Arxada’s process development and production capabilities and broad commercial infrastructure to realise the full potential of this new technology. In addition, a new class of catalyst technology has been developed for these products, which are suitable both for conventional and advanced composite manufacturing methods.”

The new Primaset HC-100 and HC-200 resin systems will provide superior dielectric performance, high temperature resistance and ultra-low moisture absorption compared to existing Arxada products, improving mechanical performance and process engineering. The products will be developed and manufactured in Arxada’s facility in Visp, Switzerland. Arxada is currently developing the products and plans to begin sampling to customers in Q2 2022.

The collaboration is the fourth between Novoset and Arxada since 2011. Novoset has a long history of successful collaboration with Arxada’s Composite Materials unit as an innovation and marketing partner in cyanate esters and other products. Some of those products are used in applications including mobile technology, Formula 1 cars, space vehicle heat shields and structures, air-ducting and enterprise servers in data center applications.


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