ELACO® is a new, revolutionary Technology for creating high impact strength, elastic laminates and composite materials.
Laminates based on the ELACO® Technology posses significantly improved mechanical properties in comparison with existing laminates, and, in particular, the existing fibre metal laminates. Laminates based on the ELACO® Technology could be made out of cost effective, existing and readily available materials.These materials are already widely used in the transportation and materials industries.
In comparison with already known composite structures, whose major disadvantage is brittleness, and conventional materials, novel laminates based on ELACO® Technology offer a far superior performance.
Such superior performance of laminates based on the ELACO® Technology is demonstrated through:
- high impact resistance,
- exceptionally high level of elasticity,
- outstanding level of elastic recovery after deformation,
- significant weight reduction in comparison with similar samples made from steel or aluminium,
- superior weight to strength and impact energy absorption ratio (nearly as strong as steel),
- ability to fabricate highly directional mechanical properties (to tailor properties during design),
- low material cost flowing from the use of already existing materials,
- minimized manufacturing cost since known and established manufacturing processes are used.
Combination of materials
While the combination and arrangement of the materials that could be used to manufacture an ELACO®-based laminate is novel, each of these materials is readily available.
This is important, as it means that there is already a wide industry understanding of mechanical properties inherent in their use in the existing forms and structures.
The novel high impact strength, Elastic ELACO®- based laminates may include structures made out of a range of materials, as well as be manufactured and used in a variety of applications in combination with a variety of metallic and non-metallic materials.
Types of materials
Materials that could be used include:
- foams, wood, rubber, honeycomb structures, thermoplastics, plastics, ceramics, polymers, hybrid sandwiches, even paper; and
- any other materials with properties desired for a particular purpose.
Technical worthiness of the ELACO® Technology has been proven under very strict testing conditions.
The tests used were based on Formula One Technical Regulations for Side Impact, and have established that:
- there is a way to create composites with highly desirable physical properties and technical performance, and;
- such composites can be created without using high-cost components and technologies.
Some average physical properties of laminates based on the novel ELACO® Technology (E-Glass fibre):
- Impact Energy Absorbed up to 3985 J (without penetration),
- Peak Impact Force up to 184.3 kN (without penetration),
- Density range from 1304 – 2448 kg/m3,
- Deflection range 13 – 43 mm,
- Tensile strength > 1000 MPa,
- Young’s modulus of elasticity E = 33 GPA (average),
- Poison’s ratio υ = 0.33 (average).
A hand lay-up process was used in manufacturing sample novel ELACO® - based laminates in order to prove that it is possible to create high-tech composites in a cost-effective way. The manufacturing process may include vacuum bagging and autoclave or other known procedures, which could further improve physical properties of novel ELACO® laminates.
As the second stage of fabricating parts/structures based on the new ELACO® Technology, most of technologies used in metal and plastics forming processes may be applied. These include moulding, stamping and technologies used in cold deformation forming processes such as blanking, punching, flanging, embossing, bending and drawing.
Because E-glass fibre and other low cost materials (such as aluminium and steel) as well as widely applied fabricating processes are used, it is expected that the price of new ELACO® based structures will be low, which will facilitate their wide application.
There are various opportunities for creating highly elastic, high-impact resistant, cost-effective structures based on the new ELACO® principles, as per individual product specification and need.
ELACO® is offering a new, unique and revolutionary Technology that will contribute to the body of knowledge in the area of creating impact resistant Fibre Metal Laminates, confirmed by the International Searching Authority (WIPO) as novel, inventive and industrially applicable.
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