Carbon Fiber Composites Low Cost Materials & Manufacturing Options

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1 Carbon Fiber Composites Low Cost Materials & Manufacturing Options George Husman Zoltek Companies, Inc. September 13,

2 Carbon Fiber Markets All China Hexcel Formosa SGL Cytec AKSA Others 2011 Estimated Capacity Total = 97,500 metric tonnes Source: High Performance Composites, March 2012 all others, Mitsubishi, Toray, Zoltek, Toho, Estimated Demand 2011 Total = 45,800 metric tonnes 2020 Total = 153,680 metric tonnes Source: High Performance Composites, March wind energy consumer products aerospace automotive other industrial 0 Total 45,800 92, ,680 Wind Energy is largest market for carbon fiber Energy and Industrial markets dominate Should the Automotive forecast be higher?? 2

3 Automotive Applications Why use carbon composites? high strength & stiffness low density light weight vehicles Carbon UD Carbon Steel Aluminum Fiber Composite Strength (MPa) 4150 ~ 2200 ~ 690 ~ 415 Modulus (GPa) 245 ~ 132 ~ 207 ~ 69 Density (g/cc) 1.81 ~ 1.54 ~ 7.8 ~ 2.7 What is needed for broader automotive use of Carbon Fiber Composites? Lower cost carbon fiber & intermediate products High throughput / low cost manufacturing technologies Design know-how - crash safety and performance prediction - design for manufacturing - hybrid materials concepts / selective reinforcement 3

4 $ / KG Typical Aerospace Fiber Prices Carbon Fiber Cost Standard Modulus Carbon Fiber Price Typical Commercial Fiber Prices Future Commercial Fiber Prices

5 Lower Cost Carbon Fiber Development Zoltek / Weyerhaeuser / U.S. Dept. of Energy Project - Lignin / PAN polymer blend precursor - renewable source material (up to 45%) - lower cost material, lower energy, lower CO 2 - commercial product in 2013 Project Targets - Cost = $11.00 / kg - Strength > 1725 MPa - Modulus > 172 GPa - Elongation > 1% Precursor fibers from Zoltek Pilot Spinning Line % Lignin Content Current Results - Cost ~ TBD - Strength ~ 2800 MPa - Modulus ~ 210 GPa - Elongation ~ 1.3% 5

6 Low Cost Manufacturing Broader acceptance of carbon fiber composites for automotive applications requires low cost / high throughput manufacturing processes Technology centers like the Magna NRC Composite Centre of Excellence and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and equipment manufacturers like Krauss Maffei are working together with materials suppliers to develop these needed technologies Manufacturing Processes: Thermosetting Polymers - prepreg compression molding - resin transfer molding (RTM) - wet pressing - sheet molding compound (SMC) Thermoplastics - direct thermoplastic compounding / injection & compression molding - thermoplastic sheet thermoforming - continuous fiber local reinforcement and insert over-molding 6

7 Continuous Fiber / Thermosetting Matrix Processes Prepreg compression molding and resin transfer molding (RTM) are currently used processes for low volume automotive applications While these result in high structural efficiency composites, they have major drawbacks: - high intermediate product costs - slow cycle times / low throughput - high scrap Substantial improvements are needed to achieve broader use of these processes: - faster curing polymer systems - advanced preforming concepts - automated tow & tape placement - scrap reduction and cost effective use Prepreg Product RTM Preform 7

8 Low Cost Carbon Fiber Sheet Molding Compounds Magna Exteriors and Interiors recently introduced the first carbon SMC product made with low cost commercial carbon fiber. Typical SMC Composites Properties: Carbon Fiber Glass Fiber Tensile Strength = 200 MPa 140 MPa Tensile Modulus = 30 GPa 13 GPa Specific Gravity = 1.41 gm/cc 1.80 gm/cc This provides excellent potential for light weight structural applications. Advantages: low cost product mold flow process for complex shapes net shape molding; near zero scrap light weight structures use of existing molding facilities & know-how Complex parts molded by Magna 8

9 Direct Compounding / Injection Molding Comparative carbon and glass fiber parts Advantages: No intermediate product costs High production rates ~ 60 second cycle times Net shape / complex parts; near zero scrap Potential for low cost / light weight complex structures Additional development to achieve better fiber length retention will result in much higher properties Complex Front End Module Demonstrated at Krauss Maffei 9

10 Carbon Thermoplastic Tapes Thermoplastic Tapes Can be used as the main reinforcement or as localized reinforcement for injection or compression molding applications. Potential Parts Seat Backs, Front Ends, Bumpers, B-Pillars, etc. Strategic placement Localized areas in combination with injection or compression molding produces a low cost, structurally optimized composite structure 10

11 Carbon Thermoplastic Structural Sheets Zmat Thermoplastic Sheets ZMat is a random orientated fiber mat comprised of 25mm long, unsized Panex 35 fibers for use in a wide variety of composite applications. Impregnated with PP, PA, or other polymers, ZMat thermoplastic sheets can be used in thermoforming processes and in association with other thermoplastic processes such as injection molding to produce highly efficient thermoplastic structures. 11

12 Conclusions & Summary There is great interest in use of carbon fiber composites for light weight automotive applications Increased use of these materials for automotive requires: - lower cost fibers and intermediate products - low cost / high throughput manufacturing processes - increased design know-how Current processes with continuous fibers (prepreg & RTM) are structurally efficient but are costly and slow. Improved technologies are needed for reduced scrap and faster processes Flow molding processes (SMC & carbon LFT) offer low cost and high throughput for light weight complex structures ; combined with localized reinforcement using continuous fibers provides high structural efficiency Low cost carbon fibers and intermediate products as well as low cost high through put processing technologies are rapidly evolving 12

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