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The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, recently unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, features a production carbon-fibre chassis made using an Araldite resin system for Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM).

Designed, developed and manufactured at Lamborghini’s headquarters at Sant’Agata Bolognese, where all the bull-signed cars are manufactured, this carbon chassis is also expected to be built into other Lamborghinis in the future.

Lamborghini produced the bulk of the chassis with the support of Huntsman Advanced Materials, which provided an Araldite resin system especially adapted for Lamborghini’s RTM-Lambo, a RTM processing technique.

During the patented RTM-Lambo process to produce the chassis, pre-formed carbon-fibre reinforcements are impregnated with a precise amount of the Araldite resin.

This advanced technique uses lighter moulds made of carbon fibre, rather than steel or aluminium, and is heavily automated.

The Aventador’s chassis also includes epoxy foam sections, adding the space needed to create shapes without introducing unnecessary layers of carbon fibre.

The foam also dampens noise and harmonic vibrations, like heavy insulation would on a metal-chassised car.

To meet all the RTM requirements, the resin must have a very low viscosity, sufficient pot life and good fibre impregnation capabilities.

Furthermore, it must be able to deliver the mechanical properties required to ensure the strength and torsional rigidity of the chassis.

In being adapted with a carbon fabric orientation and quality, the Araldite resin fulfils all these requirements.

The entire passenger cell of the Aventador, including the roof, weighs just 147.5kg.

This light weight is not at the expense of rigidity – it takes 35,000Nm of torque to twist it by one degree.

By comparison, the Murcielago, with its metal chassis, had a torsional rigidity rated at around 20,000Nm per degree.

In effectively deploying carbon composite materials, the Aventador is more robust and has a higher torque than its predecessor.

In combination with the Araldite resin, the RTM-Lambo technique is claimed to create a chassis that is lightweight, robust and capable of delivering the power-to-weight ratios outlined in Lamborghini’s corporate strategy.

Huntsman Advanced Materials claims it offers a cost-effective solution for the repeatable production of structural parts with mechanical and thermal performances comparable to autoclaved prepregs.

Huntsman Advanced Materials

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