Hexion Partners With Rassini For Composite Leaf Spring Application In New Ford F-150 Model

COLUMBUS, Ohio & PIEDRAS NEGRAS, Mexico — June 1, 2021 — An EPIKOTE™ epoxy resin system from Hexion Inc. (“Hexion”) has been specified by Rassini for an innovative rear suspension system found in Ford Motor Company’s new 2021 model of the F-150 pickup truck.

Rassini has developed and manufactures the hybrid rear suspension, which consists of a parabolic main steel leaf supported by a composite helper, at its Piedras Negras (Coahuila Mexico) location. With this hybrid suspension, the same stiffness and durability as a conventional multi-steel leaf spring pack is achieved, while realizing a significant weight reduction of 16 kilograms. In addition to the positive impact this has on the vehicle’s overall carbon footprint and payload increase, the lighter weight component leaves provide a smoother engagement, less friction and noise.

Rassini’s composite helper spring is produced on new high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) production lines installed in Piedras Negras. With this strategic investment in composite manufacturing capabilities, Rassini has confirmed its position as a technological leader.

Rassini selected Hexion’s EPIKOTE™ Resin TRAC 06150 with EPIKURE™ Curing Agent TRAC 06150 Epoxy resin system as it enables the robust mass production of the composite helper spring. The EPIKOTE™ Resin TRAC 06720 binder is essential for fabric stabilization and automated preforming of a large directional stack of fabric plies, and is fully compatible with the fast cure resin system.

In partnership with industry developers, Hexion is constantly adapting its composite resin portfolio to answer manufacturers’ increasing need for strong yet lightweight alternatives to metal, that can be produced at faster speeds. Hexion’s continued advances in resin technology can help manufacturers reduce vehicle weight and at the same time, hasten production of high-performance composite components.

“We are extremely pleased to be a valued partner with Rassini in support of Ford’s iconic F-150 truck,” said Francis Defoor, Hexion’s Automotive segment leader. Our expertise in epoxy chemistry as well as our application and process know-how make us a leading development partner for lightweight composite technology.”

“We are very proud of the fact that, together with our highly technical partners such as Hexion and very demanding customers, we have been able to drive forward with innovative solutions and bringing them into large-scale production,” said Brent Collyer, VP Engineering – Leaf Springs Suspension Group North America.

Hexion’s epoxy matrix’ thermo-latent behavior provides a low mixing viscosity for good fiber wet-out and rapid in-mold cure after impregnation. The overall short cycle time in high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) processing leads to efficient capacity utilization. The epoxy composite helper exhibits a long fatigue life even under exposure to severe application conditions like hot weather, high humidity and contact with automotive fluids.

Posted June 1, 2021

Source: Hexion Inc. / Rassini