Matthias Dorner, Key Account Manager, Bossard Germany
"Installed in seconds – valuable time saved"
Talking to my customers in the automotive industry, I’ve learned that the lithium-ion rechargeable battery is the core element and usually the most expensive component in an electric vehicle. Therefore, the goal is to achieve the highest power-to-weight ratio. In other words the lighter the car, the longer the battery could last. To further reduce the body weight of electric vehicles, futureoriented designers use carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), often just called “carbon.” This material is extremely lightweight, highly stable and – what is particularly relevant for us – it places very special demands on fastening technology. Fastening elements must not destroy carbon materials while still achieving maximum strength required.
ecosyn®-BCT blind rivet nuts for carbon
The R&D engineers in charge of lightweight construction at BMW listened closely when we presented our ecosyn®-BCT blind rivet nuts for the first time (BCT is a registered trademark of BBA srl.). It is designed specifically for applications in thin-walled, high-tensile, soft, porous or sandwich materials. Thanks to the Bulge Control Technology that ensures that no crack forms in the base material. In fact, interest was so great that a short while later we were given the opportunity to present our ecosyn®-BCT blind rivet nuts at an in-house expo at BMW – which was somewhat unusual for a relatively new supplier like us.
Easy to use within short cycle times
Those in charge at BMW quickly realized that ecosyn®-BCT blind rivet nuts are the ideal solution for a series of fasteners in the newly developed BMW i3 and i8 electric cars. In fact, they’re so unique that they are the only product that meets all of BMW’s specifications: The parts have to provide process reliability; they can’t damage the CFRP during installation; and they must be easy to use within the relatively short cycle time on the assembly line. In contrast to the initial gluing solution, our blind rivet nuts have the advantage that they don‘t require curing time. They can be installed in just a few seconds. Valuable time can be saved, which in turn can have a positive effect on productivity.
The groundbreaking BMW i3 and i8 electric cars, which will go into series production in early 2014, currently use approximately 70 ecosyn®-BCT blind rivet nuts for the i3 and 30 for the i8. But that’s just the beginning. BMW is also planning to use more CFRP in its other model series to make them lighter. We’re confident that we can make valuable contributions there as well.