Haydale has announced that its graphene-enhanced prepreg has been incorporated in the composite tooling and automotive body panels in the new BAC Mono R, which made its debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), working alongside both Haydale and Pentaxia, built the light-weight BAC Mono R body using Haydale’s graphene-enhanced carbon composite materials, in work that started back in 2016. In October 2018, Haydale announced that it has been awarded a research and development grant from the Niche Vehicle Network to develop graphene-enhanced composite tooling and graphene-enhanced automotive body panels.
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. Graphene-enhanced tooling materials offers the potential for significant improvements in the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), a key issue with the use of metal tooling, the need for superior quality and higher dimensional stability, and 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 whilst enabling BAC to 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.”