Race Car Industry Crossover Serves to Strengthen Atech’s Expertise in Luxury Yacht Composites
NEWS | September 21, 2016
Years of research and development and continuous investment in composite technologies have allowed Horizon Yacht's Atech Composites facility - which produces the hull, decks and superstructure of every Horizon yacht built - to successfully expand its product range to include wind turbine blades, unmanned aerial vehicle components, interior panels of railway rolling stocks, and most recently, the production of race car body shells. With sustainable development at the forefront of Horizon's mission, Atech continues to invest time, manpower, and equipment in raw materials research; the manufacturing of custom products to maximize and enhancing the production process; and, as always, the inherent understanding and anticipation of customers’ needs.
Working with different industries over the years has allowed Atech to continuously build upon our expertise in composites manufacturing. Thus, we readily accepted a recent opportunity to collaborate with XING Mobility, a cutting-edge electric race car prototype designer and manufacturer, to develop a lightweight body shell for their carbon fiber racer prototype. The automobile industry is largely influenced by developments in race car performance and technology, and this collaboration would allow Atech to become knowledgeable about carbon fiber manufacturing. Our biggest challenge was clear when we reviewed the original design plans for the body shells. Not only were they too heavy, the manufacturing costs would greatly exceed the budget.
Limited by the constraint that the exterior design of the race car could not be changed, Atech had to devote considerable energy to the challenge of weight and cost reduction in the XING Mobility project. We began by testing a variety of materials: resin, core, carbon fiber, etc., and then turned our attention to designing the most efficient structure, designing and developing the molds, and finally, creating a streamlined production process to fabricate the body shells. Using our exclusive 3D vacuum infusion technology and state-of-the-art automatic infusion equipment, we were able to precisely control the ratio of resin and catalyst during the construction as well as the infusion pressure to ensure the resin impregnated completely with the carbon fiber. The resulting product not only demonstrated high mechanical strength, it was 30% more lightweight than the original design and yielded an enhanced race car with the capability of speeds higher than 300km/hr.
Creative thinking and advanced technologies learned from working across a variety of industries continues to increase Atech’s competitiveness in the composites field. Taiwan’s most influential financial and economic magazine reported on Atech’s recent achievements as a “Highlight of Industry.” And now, with our third collaboration with XING underway, Atech Composites is no longer regarded as a traditional yacht composites manufacturer only, but is increasingly recognized as a leading specialized composites technology corporation with the expertise and capability to manufacture cross-industry composites products.
While luxury yacht and race car manufacturing are not directly related, both industries share an appreciation for technology and innovation, and we believe there is much that can be learned and shared between the two industries to better improve Horizon's luxury yacht components for our valued clients.
*Article seen in the Summer issue of the Horizon Yachts newsletter pages 19-26, read it here: https://issuu.com/horizonyacht/docs/2016_horizon_newsletter_summer_issu