Project: Efficient ceramic materials machining

Failure to meet current carbon dioxide reduction targets within the automotive sector can be partly attributed to the weight and size of modern vehicles. The need for weight reduction without compromising performance is widely acknowledged by the industry as a means to deliver improved fuel consumption and subsequent carbon reduction. As a result of their excessive weight and limited durability, traditional iron car brakes are one opportunity where potential weight reduction can be achieved._x000D__x000D_Carbon Ceramic (CSiC) technology, due to its reduced weight (potential 70% weight reduction), increased durability and high performance, is widely regarded as a best in class alternative to traditional iron brake technology. It also offers significant advantages over carbon-carbon technology currently found on most Formula One cars in that it exhibits braking performance at low temperatures, making it suitable road cars._x000D__x000D_However, despite its superior performance characteristics, due to high cost in manufacture, the market penetration of carbon ceramic material has reCOed within the high performance market. _x000D__x000D_Through the collaboration of the UK based Surface Transforms – ST (a leading manufacturer of 'next generation' Carbon Fibre Reinforced Ceramic Composite Materials) and the Swedish based Koenigsegg - KAAB, (a world renowned high performance motor vehicle manufacturer), the CeraMach project aims to develop and deploy a carbon ceramic brake technology specifically designed for the mass produced car market which will meet the performance and cost requirements required for widespread adoption. In addition to the two SME Ps, the project will also subcontract the expertise of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) a spin out company from the University of Sheffield for machining and the Japanese based Asahi Diamond for tooling. The high speed test driving will be also subcontracted to a professional who KAAB use exclusively for high speed driving and prototype evaluation. _x000D__x000D_The proposed development will be achieved through the delivery of a step change in the machining process currently used by ST for the manufacture of CSiC brake discs. The key innovation surrounds the application of a unique tooling technology which will allow several steps of the current manufacturing process to be eliminated. The resulting targeted 60% reduction in the cost of machining and a dramatically shorter lead time will provide a key mechanism to enable the progression of CSiC brakes to enter the mass produced car market. If the objectives of the project are achieved, the technology will be deployed within the medium class high volume production cars and after sales performance market within 1 year of project completion. Further adoption is expected by general class cars within a 10 year timeframe with spill over to motorcycles and other mass transportation including commercial vehicles and rail. _x000D__x000D_In addition to offering superior safety and durability, the 70% reduction in weight offered by CSiC technology compared with current iron brakes will result in an average reduction of 4.2g CO2/km offering a significant contribution to mandatory carbon emission standards. _x000D__x000D_The proposed development therefore presents a significant opportunity for the European Automotive sector, which already leads the way in CSiC disc technology. If an increase in manufacturing efficiency can be achieved, the results of the project offer strong replication potential in the aerospace and defence markets and high speed mass transit, notably aircraft brakes, rocket and missile propulsion systems, vectoring control systems._x000D__x000D_The resulting tooling also offers significant market potential. The characteristics of carbon ceramic material is unique. Few materials could withstand temperatures of in excess of 2000 deg C and keep their structural integrity. If a suitable approach to machining can be developed, it will open up a range of opportunities for applications where extremely high temperature performance and lightweight structure is needed._x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D__x000D_

Acronym CeraMach (Reference Number: 6666)
Duration 01/08/2011 - 31/07/2013
Project Topic This project will investigate the potential to develop an alternative manufacturing process for Carbon Ceramic (CSiC) material, driving down the cost of manufacture and thus providing a mechanism for CSiC brake systems to penetrate the mass produced car market.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The trials, tests and feasibility studies have all been completed successfully with the final on car_x000D_qualification during WP7 also a success;_x000D_D2.3 - Programming for cutting trial completed and successful_x000D_D2.4 - Initial machining trials completed and successful_x000D_WP3 - Detailed machining study completed and successful_x000D_D3.1 First off component trial completed and successful_x000D_D3.2 Extended tool life trials completed and successful_x000D_D3.3 Tool life performance report completed and successful_x000D_D3.4 Business case and economic modelling completed and successful_x000D_D4.1 Report detailing machine options and requirements complete_x000D_WP6 - Test discs on Dyno complete_x000D_D6.1 Report on dyno testing complete and successful_x000D_WP7 - Qualification on car. Testing completed and generally successful however some rapid wear_x000D_issues were found.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Surface Transforms plc Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Koenigsegg Automotive AB Partner Sweden