ToPCaT: ThermoPlastic Carbon Tub

KWM set about developing a carbon composite vehicle platform using thermoplastic materials and innovative manufacturing methods.


The Challenge

  • Carbon composite chassis structures are known as being superior to other approaches for reasons of weight, strength, stiffness and thermal management.
  • However, conventional CFRP thermosets as traditionally used in motorsport are expensive to process, labour intensive and critically not easily recyclable – a key requirement in the automotive industry.
  • The ToPCaT programme aimed to produce a carbon composite vehicle platform for a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

The Requirements

The key technical requirements of the programme were:

  • Performance parity with traditional composite chassis.
  • Low tooling costs.
  • Modular construction.
  • Repeatable manufacturing process.

The Results

In comparison to traditional thermoset manufacture, ToPCaT demonstrated the following benefits:

  • Tooling costs: 96% cheaper
  • Unit cost: 41% cheaper
  • Cycle time: 83% shorter
  • Recyclability: Fully (including second life).


For more information on the project, contact us on