Composite Leaf Spring for Volvo


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Challenge
Composite materials based on glass or carbon fibers combine savings in weight – leading to reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions – with enormous strength, thereby offering enhanced safety and good crash behavior. Henkel works closely with its industrial customers to create tailor-made and integrated solutions designed to meet the challenges that lightweight construction brings to the automobile industry, particularly in relation to cost efficiency and suitability for volume production.

In collaboration with Benteler-SGL, Henkel was asked to develop an advanced composite matrix resin based on polyurethanes to produce the first composite leaf spring manufactured in RTM process for high-speed mass production.


Solution
A resin based on polyurethanes opens new application opportunities in contrast to existing epoxy resins, including fast injection, very low viscosity and low-cure exothermic, as well as excellent toughness.

The LOCTITE MAX 2 composite matrix resin enables:

  • Short cycle times suitable for high-speed RTM
  • Safe, controllable and fast processing
  • Superior fatigue resistance under dynamic loads


Benefits
A composite leaf spring based on a composite matrix resin offers OEMs an alternative that:

  • Ensures fast and safe processing for automotive mass production
  • Fulfils automotive design process requirements and quality according to ISO 16-949 specifications
  • Can be used to substitute longitudinal and transversal steel leaf springs into full suspension concepts for passenger cars and lightweight commercial vehicles