- Milestone in large serial production of composite components for the automotive industry
- Fully automated production at the Innkreis location in Austria
By delivering its millionth composite leaf spring to Volvo Cars, SGL Carbon has reached a milestone in the history of serial production of fiber composite components. The leaf spring is manufactured at the Innkreis site in Austria. As part of a company celebration, Dr. Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Carbon, congratulated the entire team for one of the most successful large serial projects at SGL Carbon last Friday.
With this fully automated, scalable serial production of leaf springs based on glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP), SGL Carbon offers one of the largest range of composite components in the automotive industry. Compared with standard steel leaf springs, which can weigh up to 15 kg, a similar GFRP spring leaf weighs just 6 kg, making it around 65 percent lighter. Besides a reduction in weight, the composite leaf spring also requires less space and ensures easy handling. Furthermore, the composite design means the leaf spring can be tailored to different models, giving manufacturers a high degree of flexibility while cutting costs at the same time. The leaf spring is part of Volvo Cars’ global SPA vehicle platform and is used in different Volvo models. SGL Carbon is also implementing similar concepts together with other car manufacturers from Europe and North America.
“The new leaf spring allows a significant weight saving in our vehicle models compared to conventional steel springs in this application”, says Erik Johansson, Senior Design Engineer at Volvo Cars. “This contributes to lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. In addition, we can use a small number of leaf spring variants in many different models, which increases efficiency and allows for high flexibility.”
“We are proud that we are driving forward our innovative solutions together with our technically very demanding customer in a targeted manner and are increasingly putting them into large serial production. The composite leaf spring is a good example of this”, emphasizes Dr. Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Carbon. “In addition, this project underlines the long-standing and good cooperation between both companies.”