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Huntsman Advanced Materials Promotes Composites Mass Production And Application in Light Weight Vehicle

Release time:2016-03-01

Special interview with Mr. THIERRY PERCHET, Marketing Director, APAC/INDIA and Mr. Meising HO, Technology Director, APAC/INDIA

Huntsman Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. As one of Huntsman's five major business units, Huntsman Advanced Materials is a leading global chemical solutions provider with a long heritage of pioneering technologically advanced epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane-based polymer products. Today, Huntsman Advanced Materials’ legacy of technology innovation and applications expertise provides more than 2,000 customers in 80 countries with reliable, durable and cost effective solutions that address engineering challenges across a broad range of industries.

Huntsman Asia Pacific Technology Center - Shanghai

Automotive industry is one of the major sectors for Huntsman Advanced Materials. With the further development of global automotive capacity and increasing application of lightweight composites in automotive, Huntsman Advanced Materials specializing in the field of composites will make more contributions in the automotive industry.

Recently, Gasgoo.com interviewed Mr. THIERRY PERCHET, Marketing Director, APAC/INDIA and Mr. MEISING HO, Technology Director, APAC/INDIA, we profoundly discussed Huntsman's innovative technologies in automotive lightweight composites.

Mr. THIERRY PERCHET, Marketing Director, APAC/INDIA

Mr. MEISING HO, Technology Director, APAC/INDIA

Gasgoo.com: Which typical applications and solutions do you offer for the auto industry? What kinds of problems can they solve? What benefits can you bring?

Mr. THIERRY PERCHET: From Formula 1 to mass production cars, trucks or trailers, Huntsman Advanced Materials' innovative tooling systems, adhesives, composites, coatings and encapsulation systems offer manufacturers the performance and quality they need.

Solution 1: Composites

With the release of a new global offer for the automotive industry, Huntsman meets demands for faster processing and reduced composite parts production cycles. The new epoxy solutions are qualified for mass production and improve structural part production time to 1’30 minute or less

Case study: BMW “i” series’s experience--The new epoxy solutions are built on the first generation ARALDITE® LY3585/HARDENER XB 3458 and ARALDITE® LT 3366. This system is qualified for the real first mass produced automotive carbon composites chassis parts (BMW i Program).

Solution 2: Adhesives

As a pioneer in the adhesive technologies, ARALDITE® adhesives are able to meet the newest industry trends and requirements. ARALDITE® adhesives improve manufacturing processes, durability and safety of assemblies. Our products help overcome a variety of challenges such as low emission, fast curing cycles, durability under dynamic stress and impact resistance and multi-substrate joining

Case study: ARALDITE® 2047-1 was used to assemble vehicle mirror parts. It is fast curing, has a good bond and excellent vibration resistance

Huntsman Advanced Materials provides the epoxy solution for BMW i3

Gasgoo.com: What can Huntsman do to help reduce auto weight? What are the benefits for auto users?

Mr. MEISING HO: Huntsman's composites are widely applied in automotive body, such as roof, bonnet, interior panels, drive shafts, pressure vessels, trunk panel, chassis, leaf springs, wheels, etc. in order to improve fuel economy, reduce weight, improve safety, lower emissions, reduce in number of parts, impact of visual surfaces, reduce noise, etc..

 

For car owners, the most direct benefit we bring to them is fuel saving. According to research, if the vehicle weight reduces 10%, the fuel efficiency will increase 6%-8%; if the vehicle weight reduces 100kg, the fuel consumption/100 km will reduce 0.3-0.6L.

Huntsman’s composites and epoxy solution also accelerate the popularization of lightweight vehicles

Gasgoo.com: What are the characteristics and advantages of Huntsman when compared with other lightweight materials and techniques?

 

Mr. MEISING HO: When it comes to lightweight vehicle materials, CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) is simply the best choice around. It is extremely strong and light: at least as strong as steel, but around 50% lighter. (In comparison, aluminum is 30% lighter than steel relative to its strength).

The advantage of Huntsman technology is to provide an appropriated RTM system (resin/hardener) to fit for HP RTM process and further reduce the process cycle time so as not just a fact to improve the productivity of CFRP, as well as to push CFRP to get into the platform of automotive mass production. RTM technology was developed more than 20 years ago to manufacture carbon fiber composite parts in Aerospace.

The process here is to infuse the resin into a mould containing the reinforcement, often made with Carbon fibers. Newly developed High Pressure RTM technology allows a very fast fiber impregnation, so possibility of using faster curing system for shorter overall production cycles. Recently AdMat introduced an even faster process, the “Dynamic Fluid Compression Molding”. Here the resin is first spread on the surface of the part and the infusion happens in a second stage through the thickness of the part. This way fiber wetting is considerably reduced and usage of extremely fast curing systems is possible.

With Huntsman’s newest technologies, the production cycle of automotive carbon fiber components will be shorten to less than 1’30 minutes, with the process optimized epoxy systems for wet compression moulding, we expect cure-time of 30 seconds will very soon be possible bringing the entire cycle to less than 1 minute.

Gasgoo.com: The contradiction between the adoption of advanced materials/techniques and the growing costs will arise from the auto lightweight process, which will greatly affect the market application of lightweight technologies. Does Huntsman face the problem in the auto industry? How will you solve it?

Mr. THIERRY PERCHET: Auto lightweight is designed to cope with high cost which is mainly reflected in three aspects: high R&D cost, high manufacturing cost and high car usage cost.

In terms of R&D, for traditional automakers which use steel as the main materials, using other lightweight materials means researching optimized design to ensure maximum of function integration, part number reduction and easier assembly. New challenge faced by automotive industry is assembly of many dissymmetric materials. This cannot be reached in traditional way. Huntsman Araldite high performance adhesives provide today solutions which have been widely tested already, even sometimes in Aerospace, passing all inspections, with the highest safety level.

In terms of manufacturing cost, currently Huntsman can produce 1000 automotive parts material in equipment per day. Later on, with the constant development of epoxy resin and liquid curing technology, the volume of batch production will become bigger and bigger and the production cost will be further reduced.

Gasgoo.com: Please describe Huntsman’s development in the auto industry as well as its partners and fields of cooperation in the auto industry.

Mr. MEISING HO: Currently, Huntsman’s auto business maintains rapid growth mainly pulled in the high segment cars. In the coming years demand for CO2 reduction will further boost usage across segments. Electrical and Hybrid vehicles are also carrying many opportunities with the objective to increase autonomy, therefore less weight to carry more batteries.

Huntsman Advanced Materials is accomplished in the world of motorsport and supercars and have helped a number of Formula One teams to improve overall performance including reducing their car weight and largely increasing the safety for drivers.

Recently the ARALDITE® resin system has been selected by BMW I3 and I8 for its fast curing behavior and overall mechanical performances

Gasgoo.com: Please describe Huntsman’s development in China’s market, particularly China’s auto industry, as well as its plans and deployment in China’s market in the future.

Mr. THIERRY PERCHET: China is attaching more and more importance to auto industry, being by far the place in the world with the largest number of vehicle sold. This production increase is fueled with local brands development as well as through JV with major global OEMs. Even if structural composite has not reached already a large scale production in China, we easily understand that this could happen quickly in the coming years. China market is a fast-growing potential market and the sales in China represents more than 50% of the total sales of Huntsman Advanced Materials Asia (APAC India), nearly 14% of the total sales of Huntsman Advanced materials.

To further strengthen its local capabilities and ability to meet growing APAC demand, Huntsman has invested US$40 million to establish its Asia Pacific Technology Center in Shanghai in 2013. More than 20,000 SQM, ATC Phase II is the largest hub with the most advanced technology of its kind in Asia. Its establishment is evidence of the great importance which Huntsman attaches to the Asia-Pacific market and the long-term investment which Huntsman commits to the region.

Huntsman will make constant innovation in China, provide better solutions to the Chinese market, keep the leading position and realize sustainable business development in order to create bigger value for the customers and shareholders.