Applications of Carbon fibers on automobile and racing cars

A bonnet fabricated from cfrp can reduce the weight from 18 to 7.25kgs and utilize the stiffness of carbon fiber. Similarly, GM’s Corvette used carbon fiber, producing a hood weighing only 9.3kgs and saving 4.8kgs from the standard fiberglass SMC. Adam has detailed the use of cfrp in automotive applications.

Chassis, body and interior: In 1980, John Barnard at Mclaren International created the world’s first carbon fiber chassis Grand Prix winner, the Mclaren MP4.

Concept cars such as the Ford Prodigy HEV and the zXcess Australia have used cfrp in their construction and there is no doubt that such innovative designs will help advance the use of composite materials in the automotive industry.

The Daimler Chrysler concept vehicle, Crossfire, uses a one-piece carbon fiber body on an Al frame and the Daimler Chrysler’s Willys2, akin to a jeep, also has a one-piece carbon fiber body on an Al frame, with a removable carbon fiber hardtop.

The Lamborghini Murcielago utilizes cfrp for the body and the Porche Carrera GT uses cfrp for the body and structural elements.

Aston Martin has used carbon fiber in their Vanquish model for the transmission tunnel, windshield pillars and parts of the sub-frame.

On-Shore has used nickel plated carbon fiber for laminated components, including the steering wheel and grab handle.

DSM have developed a carbon fiber SMC for use in making low weight semistructural and structural automotive components which can weigh as much as 55% less than those made of traditional SMC.

Thrust SSC (super sonic car), in 1998, became the first land vehicle to break the sound barrier, achieving 764 mph across the Black Rock desert in Nevada. See photo bellow:

Brakes and clutches: Carbon-carbon is used for the construction of brakes and clutches. We will show more details on other articles.

Suspension systems: The Diamler Chrysler ESX3 represents a new generation of automobile design and incorporates a rear torsional axle system, sprung by elastomeric elements on a splined shaft housed inside a square carbon fiber tube, the shaft connecting to a carbon fiber and Al trailing arm that holds the wheel assembly.

BMW are using carbon fiber in the BMW Z22 model for reinforcing side frames, rood, tailgate and flooring, enabling 20 components to replace 80 pieces with 50% less weight than a steel body.

Push rods: The cfrp push rods are 70% lighter than metal push rods, reducing noise and increasing engine efficiency.

Air bags: Side air bags upon inflation, deploy into position to cushion a vehicle occupant’s head in the event of a side impact. BMW use carbon braid, enabling the bag to shrink in length and expand in diameter, but only braid made on an extremely large braider would satisfy these requirements. The braid tube must permit the bag to condense to a small volume and fit in the door trim and yet permit it to expand to a tubular structure without bersting.

 

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