Nissan found a new approach to the existing production method known as compression resin transfer molding.
The existing method involves forming carbon fiber into the right shape and setting it in a die with a slight gap between the upper die and the carbon fibers. Resin is then injected into the fiber and left to harden.
Nissan’s engineers developed techniques to accurately simulate the permeability of the resin in carbon fiber, while visualizing resin flow behavior in a die using an in-die temperature sensor and a transparent die. The result of the successful simulation was a high-quality component with shorter development time.
The innovation can cut the lead time to develop such components by as much as half, and cycle time for molding by about 80%, compared with conventional methods.
Nissan aims to use the new process to mass-produce CFRP parts and introduce them in more production cars.