New York Vehicle Composites Program Completes X-Ray Cured Carbon Fiber Chassis
The New York State Vehicle Composites Program extended its work on X-ray curing of composites to cure a structural automotive component – a chassis – using X-rays derived from high-current industrial accelerators.
In curing a non-structural component – performance vehicle hoods – a full-scale commercial X-ray curing facility would demand 40 percent less input power per unit than conventional thermal curing, as in using fully loaded commercial autoclaves. With X-rays, curing would take place in less than a minute using shelf-stable matrix materials.
Hoods were made using an X-ray curable pre-preg and commercial thermosetting pre-pregs and power demand determinations were made. X-rays can penetrate metals embedded within plies and bond to them without heat. Non-thermal ultraviolet was used to cure a pigmented coating onto the vehicle hoods. In its initial work, non-thermal X-ray curing produced vehicle fenders with Class A finishes since there was no heat distortion.
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