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Carbon fiber future: it is about more than speed

#Cosmoread: Every year, the Auto Show is coming in cities around the world, but only a select few headlines and have that special sparkle to New York. The auto industry, gas prices, the introduction of new technologies, changes in consumer tastes and roller-coaster ride in the past five years has experienced drastic changes.

But one trend stands out: last year’s performance at the New York International Auto Show later this month, 2,016 lightweight composite materials as the show opens to provide detailed information about what to expect – and future automobile models .

MC carboon hood
MC carboon hood

Fiber felt

Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites – also called carbon fiber laminates – cars lighter, more fuel efficient and safer to build next-generation material. Because almost pure epoxy resin laminate of carbon fiber such as carbon bonded together by a rigid plastic fiber, with its woven layers is extremely strong and rigid.

Comparable to the density of table sugar – – 1.5 g / cc, with a density of approximately 1.3, resulting in carbon laminates because carbon fibers are totally, their density cubic centimeter (g / cc) to about 1.6 g.

However, the manufacturing process is complex and the carbon fiber laminate either physical labor or expensive robotic machines, both of which result in high costs required for the finished part. And, most commonly used polymer (epoxy resin), requiring 24 to 50 hours after the carbon fiber communication further solidify costs.In move inversely, the density of steel is 7.8 gm / cc. Carbon fiber slightly stiffer than steel,


but weighs a fifth. Laminated carbon density is very low, so it is even the lightest structural metal, magnesium, which is 1.8 g / cc density of beats.

Obviously, a lot of high-end performance cars use composites in their structures to reduce weight and higher top speed, faster acceleration, increased battery life or performance goals (electric cars) to reach.

However, the attractive appearance of the carbon laminate, the surprise of the public fascination with the material as well, and has led to many cosmetic applications. In fact, cosmetic applications, high volume production quickly are making their way into the automobile.

A car with an all-carbon body is an example of McLaren 570S – structural panels and body frame are made of carbon laminates. The $ 185,000 supercar 3 seconds from 0 to 60 mph acceleration and 204 mph (328 km / h) top speed, giving a 562 horsepower V8 engine with two turbochargers. The car is made from composites such as this only 3,150 pounds. (1,429 kg).

570S with a fully composite structure like manufacturing a car is a huge undertaking. In the last 35 years, despite intensive research and development efforts – since the first Formula 1 car in 1981 carbon-pieces arrived, only a select few technology is transitioned to the production model. The complex challenges, produce complex shapes in carbon laminates, epoxy filled parts are sure to enter the uniform, taking into account the different strength properties, some of the material is hit from different angles (in the direction of the fiber strength is better) and to ensure quality control.

Overcoming these challenges is expensive, so the carbon-laminated composites is the only model that is completely performance-oriented, the Alfa Romeo 4C, the new Ford GT Including the hybrid Porsche 918 is used extensively.

Romeo 4C
Romeo 4C

After a long history, results


Not long ago, as many cars as possible weight reduction achieved by removing parts. Older, lighter Porsches interior door handles and no rear seats, and for some high performance cars nylon wire, radio or any other device that was planted with was not strictly necessary. This is no longer the case, as we see in the interior of the McLaren 650S. Extensive use of carbon laminates car’s interior, including the steering wheel spokes, a navigation system and comfort features for the designers to make the weight allowed to add back in. Advanced materials used in the manufacture of your vehicle is a warning for customers: in addition to providing weight savings, carbon fiber parts serving an aesthetic role.

Edition luxury sports cars on a large scale, the use of composites Maserati GranTurismo MC, where the hood structure and a large number of other components are made of carbon laminate form. In that example, joints, rivets and screws in a large number of pieces of carbon are used to fasten parts. Engineers believed that once drilling holes for fasteners and components for fiber break will weaken. However, innovative engineering design and extensive testing has remedied those problems.

The rapid corrode carbon laminate touches the metal parts, fasteners and designers have developed special coatings on carbon laminates. These expensive cars are not often exposed to harsh environments and better maintenance, which helps to reduce the problem to achieve, but a mainstream technology in cars composites infection remains a concern .

Similar to 650S, GranTurismo MC too many internal components, including the option to trim the carbon laminate. Front dashboard trim, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, door sill inserts and side door trim inserts are available in laminated carbon. However, in the presence of these locations is the major reason for using the carbon laminate. Trim some of the components, which means that some of these applications in carbon laminated fully used for cosmetic reasons or long wooden models, which are used in light, just as replacing plastic.

GranTurismo MC number of external components are made of carbon composite. Rear spoiler, door handles and rearview mirror casings are examples of such components. $ 85,000 Cadillac CTS-V is similarly equipped. Large components such as spoilers and splitters that are subject to aerodynamic

Audi R8 V10
Audi R8 V10

loading, stiffness and light weight of the carbon laminates can benefit from. However, many of the other exterior trim pieces, mainly for aesthetic reasons laminates are made of carbon. Several cars such as the Audi R8, into these trim pieces are available as extras. However, such large components as engine cover and side panels, R8, save weight by replacing metal components.

The other, arguably more technically remarkable, composites long have been used in automobiles without any recognition – long plastic bumpers Toyota and others UV resistance and to improve the strength of nylon fan belt nanoplatelets of finely dispersed clay is used, but some people have seen them because of their nondescript appearance.

Conversely, attractive-looking carbon laminates have become fashion statements, as no other material carbon fiber weave texture, deep black and glossy surface finish, combining high carbon Laminates repeats.

Carbon and electricity

Increased structural use of carbon fiber laminates for electric cars is an important opportunity. Lightweight materials are well suited to this emerging market segment on a charge driving range because weight is extremely sensitive, complex form-fitting battery placement options are improved by structural members and their appearance that looks futuristic electric car makers fits well are trying to achieve.

The Tesla Model 3, the BMW i3 and Volkswagen Egolf – as – the top level of the market for electric cars, such as BMW i8, to move to a more accessible, as they continue to block carbon fiber laminates will continue to rely on. i8 and i3 already carbon fiber laminate body to lose weight.

Widely used as a trim piece is also common to see cars advanced materials underscores the popular will. That car buyers associate with high performance and quality of carbon fiber means the future for these materials in the automotive industry is promising.

2016 New York International Auto Show later this month, we like the rearview mirror casings, rear spoilers and diffusers as the current carbon fiber  laminate parts, is expected to adopt a comprehensive look. These parts special carbon fiber-laminate manufacturers that now at a reduced price can customize them by other models are used. Seat structures such as large parts of some of the more widespread use, could emerge this year. A more affordable segment carbon fiber laminates widespread use of a vehicle, the BMW i3 – which in 2015 achieved sales of 11024 units – routine rugged driving conditions and better estimate for the cost of repairs will result in the display. Such data and more mainstream car models will help push in carbon fiber laminates. As emission standards tighten, all made possible by electric cars will require advanced materials.

The new wave of electric cars expected to play the role of functional and aesthetic composites will promote mergers, and carbon fiber laminate continuous improvement in technology in these applications is accelerating. Already, the engine cover, trunk liners and rear air diffusers appear on your way towards widespread adoption.

But perhaps the most serious, i3 and i8 all carbon fiber composite body – and other production models – a high-speed accident in the hood and crash boxes are designed to provide data on the performance. So far, the result of an accident situation, which will push forward the use of carbon fiber composite performance is excellent.