New carbon fiber technical textiles for the automotive industry are engineered by INEGI

INEGI is contributing to the integration of new textile solutions in the automotive sector through the development of composite materials based on carbon fabrics. The innovation is part of a structuring project of the Portuguese Textile Cluster which, until June 2020, aims to promote the access of Textiles and Clothing companies to new markets and business areas.

One of the novelties is the reinforcement of thermoplastic materials with carbon fibers, to improve the mechanical performance of components for the automotive industry. The project will result in a first prototype: the protection of a structural car pillar. "The INEGI team is developing semi-products that combine carbon threads with thermoplasticthreads. It is expected that the use of this new raw material, in the form of a homogeneous thread, will reduce the risk of defects in the final product, improving its performance and reducing production costs", explains Marta Martins, responsible for the project at INEGI.

Another innovation in development is the incorporation of sensory threads in textile structures, to monitor the mechanical performance of the car structural parts. "INEGI is responsible for obtaining composite materials, based on carbon fabrics containing sensory threads", the researcher said. This innovation can be used, for example, in the base of a luggage compartment, making it able to monitor the load.

Marta Martins also highlights the strategic impact of the project "to enable the Portuguese industry to produce carbon fiber technical textiles, also introducing the novelty of sensorisation. This will allow entry into very relevant market areas, not only in the automotive sector, but also in the aeronautics sector".

The project is called TexBoost, is co-financed by the Compete 2020 programme and involves a total of 43 entities, including industrial companies and non-business entities of the Portuguese Research and Innovation system.

Universidade do Porto
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