Materially Creating a Concept

The RN30 is a concept race car from Hyundai. What’s interesting is that the vehicle was developed making an extensive use of non-metal materials for supplier BASF (basf.com).

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The RN30 is a concept race car from Hyundai. What’s interesting is that the vehicle was developed making an extensive use of non-metal materials for supplier BASF (basf.com).

While the use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics has become something of a norm in race car construction, they decided to look at alternatives for this concept. The body panels are produced with reaction injection molding using a rigid integral foam (Elastolit). This not only allows the production of shapes like those for the spoiler and the fenders, but the lightweight material provides a Class A surface that can be painted.

The trunk floor is based on a sandwich structure so it is light. In this case, they use a spray impregnated polyurethane (Elastoflex E) to create the structure that consists of a long-fifer reinforced surface layer and a paper honeycomb.

The roll bar padding is made with what is said to be the world’s first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (Infinergy). An elastic coating is applied to it.

The driver’s seat shell and pan are made with a thermoplastic composite (Ultracom); continuous fiber reinforcement is used to provide strength and rigidity with reduced mass.

Interior trim panels (dashboard, door panels) are produced with natural fibers that are held together with a water-based binder (Acrodur).

And moving from the plastic content to the vehicle finish, the exterior body panels are coated with a waterborne basecoat (ColorPro IC) to which is applied a clear coat (iGloss).