Source: Fras-le announcement

Fras-le has introduced a new line of products — Fras-le Smart Composites, which will be used for the production of auto parts. The use of this technology appears as an alternative to items originally made of steel and will result in products with better performance, innovative design and weight reduction of up to 65 percent, which reduces fuel consumption and, consequently, reduces pollutant emissions.

Fras-le Smart Composites will be one of the pioneers in the production of parts in structural composite materials in the Brazilian road market and the unit’s first project consists of manufacturing mudguard supports for semi-trailers.

“With this movement, the company follows the course of the technological megatrends in the mobility sector and aligns its portfolio with the public sustainability commitments established with a focus on ESG”, said Sérgio L. Carvalho, COO of Randon Companies and Fras-le CEO.

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It is expected that, by October, 40 percent of the semi-trailers produced by Randon Implementos will leave the factory equipped with the new Fras-le line.

The fender mounts made of composite material are classified in heavy duty and light duty versions and feature weight reductions between 60 percent and 65 percent compared to original steel parts. In addition to reducing weight, the new components have gone through rigorous durability tests, and have superior performance to steel postulants, either statically or dynamically. Through a simplified drilling, the mudguard supports in composites facilitate the assembly process, do not require painting and do not suffer from corrosive effects.

The expectation is to market the product and technology with other partners in the automotive market.

“After being technically qualified, the conception of new products happens in an agile way, allowing a fast expansion within the automotive market. The appeal of mass reduction, in a competitive and sustainable manner, has been leveraging great market interest, as new developments are possible in relatively short periods, with the entire structure of the Randon Technological Center (CTR) to accelerate the validation process,” explained Anderson Pontalti, director general of Fras-le.

These are the first products of enabled productive technology. During the next few months, new production technologies in composite materials will continue the plan to expand new components and operating markets.

How Smart Composites came about

The enabling of this new manufacturing technology with the use of composite materials began in 2018, through product innovation and research developments at the Hercílio Randon Institute (IHR), with support from the Randon Technological Center ( CTR). The plan took shape over three years and in the first months of 2021 the structuring of the industrial part began. The Fras-le Smart Composites product line is established within the Fras-le industrial complex in Caxias do Sul (RS).