The automotive composites facility on the Isle of Wight in the UK was launched in 2007 to supply Class A carbon composite body panels for the Aston Martin DBS car. Production was successfully ramped up during 2008 to match strong demand for the DBS. Gurit secured a second OEM programme in 2008 and production is expected to start towards the middle of 2009. Further details of this project are expected to be released soon.
To meet the demand of these programmes, as well potential customers currently looking into the composites technology, Gurit has created a development centre adjacent to the production facility. This houses development and engineering teams, an expanded quality and product management group, and a team of manufacturing engineers. There will also be a CATIA design suite and a development lab.
Gurit’s carbon composite automotive technology is based on its patented SPRINT® CBS (Car Body Sheet) composite product combined with its patented in-mould Surface Film to produce high quality panels with a sandable Class-A surface directly from the tool. CBS consists of a film of low-density syntactic core sandwiched between two layers of single sided SPRINT dry fibre/resin film. The company has also developed partnerships with DuPont, for its paint systems, and 3M and Dow for adhesives.
Gurit is now working on a new CBS system which is capable of operating above 200°C. This is currently in testing and is expected to be commercially available in 2010.