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Innovative EX-CORE leads the technology race to stronger, more complex carbon composite shapes

Donderdag 4/22/2021

break into F1’s grid

Lelystad, The Netherlands // The 2021 Formula One season has just begun, but Donkervoort Automobielen’s ground-breaking EX-CORE® composites spin-off is in a different race, aiming to break into F1’s grid in 2022.

The unprecedented EX-CORE® production process has attracted the interest of at least two current Formula One teams, in particular for its ability to produce parts with 0mm radii and its consistent quality.

It’s also a process that results in products of extreme strength, well beyond what is available using traditional composite processes, and performance in extreme situations.

It is already a well-proven circuit technology, thanks to its starring role in the complex door structure of the single-piece doors of the track-proven Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70.

The process was developed for the automotive industry, delivering the lighter weight needed to offset heavy electric-vehicle batteries and absorb NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), but has already piqued interest in the aviation, cycling, drone and sailing industries.

The new low-energy, low-waste process, developed by the Donkervoort research division, can produce extremely strong, otherwise-impossibly complex composite shapes with unprecedented intricacy to create the sharpest angles designers and aerodynamicists can imagine.

The tight radii mean EX-CORE gives industrial designers an unprecedented artistic license in carbon-fibre while still providing extreme strength.

EX-CORE has, for the first time, released a video of how the clean, mess-free process works, including demonstrating the stand-alone tooling, integrated heating elements, our own heat-management software and low energy use.

Less complex, more versatile

Since becoming an independent business spun off from Donkervoort last year, EX-CORE has become a strong business in its own right, and its management is continuously dealing with business development investors and creating joint ventures in an array of industries to achieve the system’s full potential.

At the centre of the EX-CORE process is a patented foam that expands at a fixed rate when heated to provide internal pressure against the carbon-fibre mold.

It means the composite materials and the resin are cured from the inside out, rather than the outside in, via computerized, low-energy heating elements built into the tooling. The foam simply expands at a precise rate to squeeze the fibre layers onto the inner contours of the mold at between 2,8 and 8 bar.

The foam then takes on some of the properties of the outer material, making it so much stronger than standard composites that it sets new industry standards.

The EX-CORE process, first used to produce the intricate doors of the 2017 Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS, uses a one-shot process, with minimal waste, virtually no excess material and low energy.

It delivers far more than the traditional strength and lightness of carbon-fibre, with none of the disadvantages of traditional processes. For example, there are no expensive autoclaves, no consumables and it needs far less time and energy to create.

Research on EX-CORE began under Donkervoort’s research and development team in 12 years ago, and it has won multiple innovation grants, including a European Innovation Grant in High-Tech Materials and Advanced Manufacturing technologies.

Other than Formula One, where EX-CORE material testing began midway through 2020, EX-CORE® is also undergoing validation and proof-of-concept testing in at least five other industry sectors.


About Donkervoort Automobielen

Established in 1978 by Joop Donkervoort and now led by his son, Denis, Donkervoort Automobielen has sold more than 1,500 cars. Operating from Lelystad, The Netherlands, with a team of over 50 experts, the company initially gained renown with the D10 in 1988, setting a world acceleration record, followed by the D8 270 RS in 2005 with a record lap at the Nürburgring. The F22, further integrating their patented, advanced Ex-Core carbon fibre technology, set a new benchmark in 2023 by achieving 2.3g of lateral acceleration at the Zandvoort circuit, surpassing the D8 GTO-JD70's previous 2.1g record, showcasing Donkervoort’s engineering prowess. Their focus on exclusive, tailored supercars and driving lifestyle experiences continues to embody the ‘Living the Drive’ ethos. Looking to the future, Donkervoort hints at more innovations, continuing the brand's adventurous evolution.

For more information, please visit www.donkervoort.com

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