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106
Running rings
Araldite® adds
round steering
style to Audi R8
Fischer Composite Technology GmbH, based near
design challenges
Salzburg, Austria, specialises in the development and
production of complex carbon fibre composites for
use in the automotive, aerospace and sports leisure
equipment industries.
Ensuring that the steering column will collapse safely in the event of a
In a recent project for Audi AG, Fischer worked closely
collision is one of the key challenges faced by designers of automobile
with Huntsman Advanced Materials using Araldite Resin
steering assemblies.
Transfer Moulding (RTM) and specialist bonding
There are, of course, conventional engineering solutions for all of these issues,
technologies for the production of the carbon side blades
but Rencol says that tolerance rings address all of the shortcomings of traditional
on the Audi R8 sports car.
Measuring 900mm x 500mm, the side blade is made
solutions and are, simpler and more cost effective to use.
from two RTM shells which are later bonded together
The tolerance rings work by forming the basis of a three-component solution,
using Araldite® 2015, a two-component epoxy adhesive
which incorporates a tolerance ring fitted between an outer jacket and an inner
paste with a highly resilient bond. With sag resistant up
tube. The whole assembly is then integrated into the steering column.
to 10mm, Araldite® 2015 is suitable for SMC and GRP
Should the driver strike the steering column in the course of an accident, the
bonding applications.
inner tube is driven forward. The tolerance ring provides controlled resistance to this
During the Araldite® RTM process to produce the side
movement, and absorbs energy as the tube moves through the outer jacket,
blade, some dry pre-formed carbon fibres are put into a
providing constant energy absorption characteristics throughout the whole of the
mould and injected with epoxy resin. The inner shell is
collapse cycle.
cast with all the fixing devices to mount the side blade
Rencol says that the benefits over traditional solutions include simpler assembly,
on to the car already in place, so no additional auxiliary
reduced component count and lower scrap costs. Further, the tolerance ring solution
component bonding or finishing is required.
uses low-cost components, and it is possible to verify the collapse force of any
The outer shell comprises a three-layer CFK/GFK
assembly during the assembly process, without damaging that assembly.
structure. Once mounted, the visible outer side of the
Finally, the solution can be very accurately matched to the user’s requirements – side blade is a 6K Twill 2/2 carbon fibre surface,
by adopting a specific wave shape with a known spring rate it is possible to design protected from UV sunlight with a clear, glossy lacquer
a tolerance ring which delivers precise and consistent collapse-force performance. finish.
“Audi AG required a ready-to-install side blade
assembly with all fixing and mounting items included,”
said Gerhard Kölbl, sales & marketing manager at FCT. “It
also had to meet Class A surface finish requirements,
including protection against ultra-violet and other effects
ORLOCK® is
of the weather.”
“Working with the Araldite® RTM system and
Araldite® 2015 adhesive, we were able to fulfil these
exacting requirements in terms of appearance, precision
the answer
fitting and dimensional space tolerances.”
Ornit has developed an innovative, structural rivet for Mercedes called ORLOCK®.
Mercedes needed a solution for the assembly of one of its mechanical steering wheel mechanisms. The main obstacle in the engineering
process was the need to design a steel structural fastener that would not crack the aluminium frame.
Ornit’s answer was ORLOCK®, a stainless steel rivet with a larger diameter, which can be riveted into the aluminium cast.
“The first line was the refrigerated reefers. Traditionally they used a conservative method of inserting a thick metal plate into the
insulation, and then tapping them so they were ready to be used with a stud. Our product eliminated not only the tapping method, but also
the heavy steel plate and the welding process. Today, the Orlock Stainless Steel rivet is used throughout Europe and Australia to hold hinges
as well as other parts of the reefers.”
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