Irrespective of whether trucks, buses, automobiles, bicycles or scooters, in future, a common feature of all these modes of transport is that they will be powered by electric drive systems. Another feature in common is the lighter the vehicle, the longer the battery service life. Carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) are well suited as chassis material for all these vehicles. CFRP offers a similar level of stability to steel, but is approximately eight times lighter. Even aluminum weighs around three times more than CFRP. However, the manufacturing and processing costs for CFRP components remain high.
Many of the tasks are still currently handled manually. Workers take freshly milled components from the machine, remove any remaining fibers and clean up the part before the edges can be sealed. Philipp Esch of the Department for Lightweight Construction Technologies at Fraunhofer IPA takes a critical view here: “This is not a reliable process, as individual workers may assess an edge differently on a subjective basis”. In addition, the fine CFRP dust generated during the milling process is harmful to health and abrasive, and if the dust settles on machine components, it also increases the degree of wear and tear.