BASF and BNP Brinkmann are supporting the “Next Generation Car” (NGC) research project with a natural fiber-based customized, lightweight composite. The German Aerospace Center’s NGC project is dedicated to the development of quiet, low-emission road vehicles equipped with a high degree of automation and a wide range. It relies on innovative technologies for the engine, energy management, and the structure of the vehicle. Thorsten Habeck, Head, Business Management Fiber Bonding, EMEA, BASF, has said that with their Acrodur binder, in a joint effort with partner BNP Brickmann, they were able to produce a composite material using renewable resources in compliance with the German Aerospace Center’s especially high requirements for weight and stability. BNP Brickmann is an expert in numerous types of fleece used for semi-furnished products in the automotive industry.
Lightweight construction is one of the vital aspects of modern vehicle designs, as almost two-thirds of fuel consumption depends directly on the weight of the vehicle. The composite will be incorporated in the “Safe Light Regional Vehicle” (SLRV), which is the smallest and the lightest of the vehicle concepts belonging to the fleet of the NGC project. It has a novel, metal sandwich sort of construction with a state-of-the-art entry concept, an extremely efficient hydrogen fuel cell engine, and a cutting-edge body, fulfilling the requirements of safety and weight of the L7 vehicle category. The floor of the vehicle is built of the lightweight composites made using natural fiber, which can protect the car body from mechanical deformation.
BASF relied on its expertise with fiber bonding products to create the composite. The company has previously used this expertise along with the Acrodur binder for natural fiber composites for producing many high-performance, lightweight components for automotive applications. The German Aerospace Center unveiled the prototype of the NGC SLRV at the Composites Europe trade show held in Stuttgart earlier this month.