Future R&D

OUR VISION OF FUTURE

c2i is developing novel production technology and engineering design approaches which aim to radically reduce cost of production while adding additional, intelligent benefits. We focus on intelligent design, novel materials and a high degree of automation, taking a holistic supply chain approach.

To play a major part of the disruptive change in the automotive industry in the coming 15 years, where hybrid, then electric vehicles will largely replace conventional vehicles, c2i is developing novel production technology and engineering design approaches with the aim to radically reduce cost of production while adding additional, intelligent benefits. At the heart of the development is an R&D philosophy which systematically tackles the major cost drivers of current technology, taking a holistic, supply chain perspective with focus on intelligent design, novel materials and a high degree of automation. With our novel approach, we aim to contribute to the early vehicle design, through a detailed component design and replacing conventional metal design thinking with an intelligent 21st century mixed materials approach.

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CURRENT MARKET SITUATION

Today, carbon-fibre is the material of choice for new models of civil and military aircrafts. In automotive, carbon-fibre is currently the material of choice only for supercars and Formula1, but strong regulatory requirements drive the automotive industry to reduce its CO2 emissions levels and the obvious solution is to reduce weight.

Weight reduction plays major part in aerospace industry. Over 50% of weight on the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 is comprised of predominantly carbon-fibre composite materials, whereas the previous number one material – aluminium, is now secondary with less than 20% of weight. The shift towards carbon-fibre has already happened in aerospace. In automotive however, carbon-fibre is currently the material of choice only for supercars and Formula 1, but strong regulatory requirements drive the automotive industry to reduce its CO2 emissions levels and apart from powertrain improvements, weight reduction is the obvious solution. Moreover, electric vehicles fight an additional weight burden which they will compensate with light-weight materials. The current limitation for radical carbon-fibre adoption for automotive structural applications is predominantly cost.

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