ATLAS: Advanced Technology Lightweight Automated Structure (ATF)
The aim of ATLAS was to develop a multi-functional material with sufficient structural properties, temperature performance and fire retardancy to meet all requirements of current vehicle battery box legislation. In addition, the processing techniques to meet the rates required by the automotive industry were determined and demonstrated.
The project developed a thermoset composite material with the required properties - both thermal and mechanical - and the capability of curing rapidly to meet the rate requirements set by Lotus.
In parallel a manufacturing technique was demonstrated to convert these materials into a functional battery box, at production rates.
The materials available at project start all had drawbacks. Epoxy resins, whilst structurally adequate cannot meet the thermal or fire requirements. SHD’s first generation of bio-based PFA resins met the thermal and fire requirements but with structural limitations. The innovation in the project was to develop a sustainable bio-based material targeted at the best characteristics of both chemistries.
The project team included Sheffield University (AMRC), with Lotus Cars as the end user.