The German consumer goods group Henkel and the development service provider RLE International have shown in a study how the weight of a SUV chassis can be reduced with fiber-reinforced polymer components and ribs made of structural foam by 40 kg in comparison to metal parts. The frame and supports were made from fiber-reinforced polymers with a high proportion of fiber and then reinforced with the epoxy foam Teroson EP from Henkel. The foam was first sprayed into the supports step by step. In the subsequent heating process in the oven, it expanded and created a rigid connection between the component and adjacent parts. Depending on the specific foam quality, curing took 15 minutes or less.
In order to test the practical suitability of the structure, several crash simulations were then carried out. They met the Euro NCAP standards and the specifications of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) at speeds of 64 and 50 km/h. The side impact behavior was tested in accordance with the NCAP specifications in the USA at 32 km/h, the rear collision scenario simulated with a 60 km/h movement stop and a fixed test vehicle in accordance with FMVSS no. 301. Another IIHS test standard was applied to determine the behavior of the roof. The vehicle passed all of the tests.