Braided car­bon wheels for Porsche

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

Porsche has be­come the world’s first ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer to of­fer light­weight wheels made from braided car­bon fi­bre. They are avail­able now as an op­tion for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Ex­clu­sive Se­ries.

Car­bon fi­bre, the char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally black high-tech ma­te­rial, can be fully ap­pre­ci­ated with a pro­tec­tive layer of clear lac­quer.

To­gether, the in­no­va­tive wheels weigh around 8.5kg less than stan­dard al­loy wheels, which is a re­duc­tion of 20 per­cent and they are also 20 per­cent stronger.

With a re­duced un­sprung weight, the tyres trail the sur­face of the road bet­ter and are per­fectly op­ti­mised for ab­sorb­ing lon­gi­tu­di­nal and lat­eral forces. Lower ro­tat­ing masses mean more spon­tane­ity both in ac­cel­er­a­tion and brak­ing. The re­sult is in­creased driv­ing dy­nam­ics and driv­ing plea­sure.

Man­u­fac­tured en­tirely from car­bon fi­bre re­in­forced poly­mer (CFRP), the wheel is es­sen­tially com­prised of two com­po­nents. The wheel cen­tre is made from car­bon-fi­bre fab­ric.

This in­volves cut­ting and as­sem­bling more than 200 in­di­vid­ual com­po­nents. The sec­ond com­po­nent is the rim base, made from braided car­bon fi­bre by what is cur­rently the world’s largest car­bon fi­bre braid­ing ma­chine, with a di­am­e­ter of ap­prox­i­mately nine me­tres. The wheel cen­tre is then braided into the rim base.

The as­sem­bled wheel is im­preg­nated with resin and pre-hard­ened at high pres­sure and high tem­per­a­tures. The fin­ished wheel is hard­ened at high tem­per­a­tures fol­lowed by a long cool­ing process. The cen­tral lock is then in­serted into the fin­ished wheel and the wheel is pro­tected with clear lac­quer.

Porsche is the first com­pany in the global au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try to use this ex­tremely com­plex tech­nol­ogy. The braid­ing tech­nol­ogy of­fers key ad­van­tages over the more con­ven­tional method of man­u­fac­tur­ing preim­preg­nated car­bon-fi­bre fab­ric and makes the ma­te­rial struc­ture of the car­bon con­sid­er­ably denser and more com­pact. From the be­gin­ning of 2018, the new car­bon wheels will be avail­able as an op­tion for the 911 Turbo S Ex­clu­sive Se­ries in the di­men­sions of 9J x 20 for the front axle and 11.5J x 20 for the rear axle.

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