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Zoltek Named Winner of JEC Innovation Award
Zoltek, a global leader in the production of low-cost industrial grade carbon fiber, has been selected as the winner of the prestigious JEC Innovation Award in the Automotive Process Category.
Zoltek, in partnership with Audi AG, Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG, and Dow Automotive developed a carbon rear wall module using a high-volume CFRP production process. The resulting part, developed with Zoltek PX35 commercial carbon fiber is cost efficient while maintaining the high-performance properties required for automotive applications. Layers of carbon fiber were placed, preformed, and molded using a high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) process that resulted in a fully automated, high-volume production run with capacity for more than 300 parts per day.
The combination of PX35 and HP-RTM proved to be beneficial. For instance, the layers of PX35 carbon fiber absorb transverse and longitudinal loads, as well as shearing force. The final part is both high strength and rigid. Overall torsional rigidity in the vehicle has increased by 33% due to the addition of Zoltek carbon fiber.