PU Composites enable Shark skin effect for future surface design also within the automotive industry
The special microstructure on the body surface of sharks is one of the most fascinating examples in the field of bionics. The tooth-shaped scales of the shark’s skin reduce flow resistance – which is why man has long tried to imitate that effect. Now through the use of innovative polyurethane composites together with tooling and equipment technologies specifically designed for this purpose, it is also possible to produce bionic surfaces, e.g. for motor vehicle surfaces. At Composites Europe 2013 in Stuttgart from 17-19 September 2013, FRIMO will be presenting the “Street Shark” for the first time to a broad professional audience.
For more than two years now, the two PU specialists FRIMO and Huntsman Polyurethanes have been working closely together to develop polyurethane matrix systems for the serial production of composites. Using Huntsman’s Vitrox® technology it is now possible to produce high-performance fiber-composite components with a polyurethane matrix. The innovative concept is more cost-efficient in large-scale series production and at the same time more robust than conventional processing methods based on epoxy resin. Moreover, it offers a whole range of benefits, which make it possible to produce bionic surfaces (drag reducing shark skin, lotus effect, etc.) straight from the mold. As a result, it is now possible for the first time to represent a shark skin surface on a high-performance composite component, for example – even over a large surface area.