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      02-20-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
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Cool BMW Plans Rollout of Carbon Fiber Wheels and More CFRP Components

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BMW Plans Rollout of Carbon Fiber Wheels and Assorted CFRP Components
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Many BIMMERPOST members change their wheels for cosmetic reasons, but also to reduce unsprung weight. If BMW has its way, we could soon be seeing a massive reduction in BMW wheel weights by way of carbon fiber wheels. The i8 has already been announced with a CFRP wheels option (pictured below), which saves 3kg / 6.6lbs per wheel, but Autoexpress appears to be reporting on CFRP wheels for standard non-i models.

According to BMW's lightweight construction manager, Franz Storkenmaier, "we save 25 percent in weight compared to a forged alloy wheel with the hybrid wheel [with alloy spokes and a carbon fiber rim] and another 10 percent if it’s completely carbon." Now BMW just has to convince European regulators that they’re strong enough to be safe on the streets.

For those concerned about damage to carbon fiber wheels, Storkenmaier says:

"The carbon fibre wheels are very damage resistant. They're actually more damage resistant to kerb hits than standard alloy wheels because the damage polishes out really easily. You can scratch it when you park and it's better to polish out than aluminium. You can have the metal finish to it with the alloy hybrid, but it's technically a better solution to go all the way and have a full carbon fibre wheel."

Carbon fiber wheels aren't the only component BMW is seeking to potentially produce. Others include:

Full carbon fiber steering wheel made of a carbon skeleton and a carbon frame.

Secondary CFRP - a new carbon-plastic compound made from carbon fiber production waste from the i3 and i8 that will be a light and strong alternative to magnesium, aluminum and steel in light, semi-structural parts like dashboards, seat frames and spare wheels.

"We have tried to use the leftover raw carbon fibre from i3 and i8 production to make carbon fibre parts, mixed with plastic. We chop up the leftover fibres and mix them all together, so it doesn’t matter where they come from or what their original job was supposed to be. After we cut them up, we mix them with plastic and this mix can be used in a regular plastic-moulding machines, but it comes out stronger and lighter than any thermoplastic. We are the very first car maker to use carbon fibre on an industrial scale. Now are we able to use the leftover from the mainstream production on an industrial scale, too."

"We have developed an instrument carrier (dash structure [dashboard]) out of this material and it could replace the magnesium one at a weight saving of about 20 percent. It’s even higher for seat frames because they’re typically made from heavier metals than magnesium."

"Carbon fibre is an expensive material to work with, but if you are using production waste then it’s a different cost structure from working up raw carbon fibre. It’s cheap, and that’s how we can position it as a competitor to magnesium."

You may not be a fan of the i3, i8 or the entire idea of the BMW i sub-model, but these potential and creative uses of carbon fiber, which BMW can now produce on a mass scale due to the development of the i3/i8, can bear fruit in many other ways for future standard BMW models.

Source: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/858...lose-producion



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      02-20-2014, 03:58 PM   #2
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      02-20-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
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      02-20-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
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      02-20-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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i wonder how ride comfort is gonna be
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      02-20-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALPINA B5 View Post
i wonder how ride comfort is gonna be
That will depend on a great deal more than just lighter wheels.

Lowering unsprung weight will allow the suspension to react more quickly, and whether it's a sport setup or a luxury setup, I'd suspect that comfort will increase.

Now if they'd just ditch the RFT tires.....
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      02-20-2014, 04:52 PM   #7
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Can't wait to see these especially for the i8, which will most likely be the first production BMW to have a CF or CFRP wheel option.
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      02-20-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddk632
Can't wait to see these especially for the i8, which will most likely be the first production BMW to have a CF or CFRP wheel option.
Article says there's already a CFRP wheels option for the i8 in Europe.
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      02-20-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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I hope these will be purchasable from BMW.
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      02-20-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Are Bimmerpost at the EfficientDynamics innovation days at Miramas?
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      02-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #11
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      02-20-2014, 05:07 PM   #12
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Anyone remember Dymag about 6-8 years ago?
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      02-20-2014, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhn1 View Post
Anyone remember Dymag about 6-8 years ago?
That is a niche manufacturer making a ridiculously expensive one-off wheelset. This is a OEM making an affordable, mass produced CF wheel. Juuuust a bit different.
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      02-20-2014, 05:19 PM   #14
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Loving what BMW is doing with CFRP!
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      02-20-2014, 05:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30form View Post
That is a niche manufacturer making a ridiculously expensive one-off wheelset. This is a OEM making an affordable, mass produced CF wheel. Juuuust a bit different.
Not sure I'd call this stuff "affordable". No such thing as that when it comes to BMW. I'm excited to see progress though.
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      02-20-2014, 05:29 PM   #16
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Wheels can bend and still hold air while driving vs cf which will just come apart right?
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      02-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W/// View Post
Not sure I'd call this stuff "affordable". No such thing as that when it comes to BMW. I'm excited to see progress though.
This is the kind of thing that makes it affordable. The i3 uses loads of carbon fiber and is relatively affordable.
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      02-20-2014, 05:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
Wheels can bend and still hold air while driving vs cf which will just come apart right?
Carbon fiber can still deflect, it just doesn't deform the way aluminum does. There have been reliable carbon fiber mountain bike rims for years that hold up to pretty serious abuse (acknowledging that this is clearly not the same thing as car wheels).

One nice thing about carbon when it fails, the underlying structure tends to retain some of its form, for example, when a carbon fiber handlebar breaks, it tends to stay attached but loses most of its rigidity at the break. When an aluminum bar breaks, it tends to just shear off at the point of failure. I'll let you guess which is typically more painful.
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      02-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #19
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they should start by improving the offsets and tire sizes across the board...just saying.
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      02-20-2014, 05:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim1079 View Post
Wheels can bend and still hold air while driving vs cf which will just come apart right?
Carbon fiber can still deflect, it just doesn't deform the way aluminum does. There have been reliable carbon fiber mountain bike rims for years that hold up to pretty serious abuse (acknowledging that this is clearly not the same thing as car wheels).
Hmm. I guess since i also prefer one piece wheels for strength this would be good as a one piece too?

I guess also although it will break instead of deform, the amount of force it can take exceeds that of a conventional wheel?
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      02-20-2014, 05:39 PM   #21
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      02-20-2014, 05:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Carbon fiber can still deflect, it just doesn't deform the way aluminum does. There have been reliable carbon fiber mountain bike rims for years that hold up to pretty serious abuse (acknowledging that this is clearly not the same thing as car wheels).

One nice thing about carbon when it fails, the underlying structure tends to retain some of its form, for example, when a carbon fiber handlebar breaks, it tends to stay attached but loses most of its rigidity at the break. When an aluminum bar breaks, it tends to just shear off at the point of failure. I'll let you guess which is typically more painful.
So true. Road bikes and mountain bikes are prime examples of carbon wheels at work:

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