Haydale has announced that its graphene-enhanced prepreg has now been incorporated in the composite tooling and automotive body panels of the new BAC Mono R, which made its debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), working alongside both Haydale and Pentaxia, has built the lightweight BAC Mono R body using Haydale’s graphene-enhanced carbon composite materials.
The component parts have been formed using Haydale’s graphene-enhanced tooling materials. The outcome of the process for manufacturing the body parts is a full visual carbon material which can be lacquered or painted as required. Utilisation of graphene-enhanced tooling materials offers the potential for significant improvements in the following aspects:
- The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) – is more closely matched when using composite tooling. A key issue with the use of metal tooling is a significant mismatch in (CTE)
- The need for superior quality – higher dimensional stability tooling is increasing the demand for composite tooling
- Current composite tools also suffer from a finite life - wearing of the tool surfaces and microcracking. The use of graphene has the potential to increase the life of the tools
Keith Broadbent, CEO at Haydale, commented: “In the development of this project, Haydale has improved the supply chain and cycle times as well as enabling BAC to reduce weight and increase performance of the material. Whilst this outcome has focused on the automotive sector, the knowledge and improvements made provide a wider opportunity for tooling materials across several markets, particularly where there are throughput constraints.”
Ian Briggs, Design Director at Briggs Automotive Company, added: “BAC is forever an innovator, and being able to release a new car fully incorporating the use of graphene is just another example of how we’re pushing the boundaries. Niche vehicle manufacturers are of paramount importance in the automotive industry, acting as stepping stones for mass-market production technology – and after the overwhelming success of our R&D project with Haydale and Pentaxia, Mono R could well be a stepping stone for graphene-enhanced composite body panels and tooling reaching the wider automotive industry in the near future.”