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Axontex

•    Axon has developed a composite material system that allows for automotive body structures to be manufactured affordably using space frames thus minimising the requirement for expensive materials. This philosophy places high stiffness and high strength materials only where they are required allowing cheaper materials to be used for low stress structural panels. This approach has shown that as little as 15kg of carbon fibre per vehicle is feasible. Glass fibre braids can also be manufactured using this process.

•    A fundamental part of the frame is our patented material AxontexTM which starts out as a braided tube which is infused with resin to form a beam of the desired cross sectional shape. This braided beam approach allows for minimal material wastage as only the beam ends require trimming (closed aperture surrounds require no trimming). This allows one dimensional (1D) beams through to three dimensional (3D) frames to be manufactured. The process has been proven on four different vehicles with 3D mouldings being successfully implemented. The process can be automated for high-volume production and also hand made for small series production and prototyping runs.

•    AxontexTM beam and frame structures contain no structural internal structural foams or formers and are thus hollow. It is possible to allow for wiring looms to be run within the beams.
AxontexTM is the world's only patented mass production technology for structural space-frame applications made from carbon fibre. Other carbon processes make panels and sheets. The benefits are as follows:

1.AxontexTM is as strong as steel and 60% lighter - for applications that require energy to move a structure, such as a car, the savings in fuel costs are up to 20%.
2. Tooling complexity and costs are low - multiple design iterations can be tested quickly and economically.
3. The characteristics of an Axon component can be tuned to give specific stiffness, strength and crash performance without the need for tooling modification. This reduces design and development costs.
4. AxontexTM can easily be formed into single curved components and structures of much greater complexity than other lightweight competitors such as aluminium.
5. The processes to fully automate the production of AxontexTM structures have been developed and patented. For the first time, this will enable the production of entire vehicle space frames from composites alone. Axon Automotive has designed many structures using loops or hoops of carbon fibre made from flexible tubes. 
This patented process, AxontexTM can be used to make a range of vehicle structures and has been multi award winning: http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/initiatives/technology-challenge/winners-2009.htm.

Bonding loops of carbon fibre beams or hoops of carbon fibre beams, along with branching of beam structures has also been demonstrated: http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/ugc-1/1/2/0/5480a1d5-b764-4d8f-a32c-e25c32fb72fc.pdf

This technique can be used to produce vehicle structures from carbon fibre, using beams from made from the flexible tube AxontexTM structures.  This technique for the design and manufacture of complex, low weight carbon fibre vehicle structures can be achieved at low piece cost and very low investment cost, due to very low waste materials processing.  The design and manufacture is backed up by comprehensive (computer aided analysis) CAA techniques to predict the properties of the structures.




 

Typical Axontex beamcrushed beam

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