The main factors of carbon fibre usage are pretty well known. It is light in weight, pretty strong and for some; it gives out an image of exclusivity especially when most people know that it is an expensive material.
Just last week, BMW has obtained a 15.16% stake in SGL Carbon SE, a leading manufacturer in carbon fibre and carbon fibre reinforced parts. This piece of news is no surprise to some people in the industry as BMW has a previous joint venture with SGL to build a carbon fibre manufacturing plant in Washington, USA.
Mercedes Benz struck a deal with Japanese firm, Toray Industries last year and the Japanese firm will supply carbon fibre parts to the German automaker. It is expected that Mercedes Benz will introduce carbon fibre parts on its upcoming SL model.
Another German automaker, Audi has teamed up with Voith GmbH to source out carbon fibre parts and components. Audi’s next generation R8 will feature a hybrid of aluminium and carbon fibre parts and their SUVs will benefit substantially from these weight saving measures.
Ferrari instead will stick with its aluminium construction, even though other rival supercar manufacturers, Lamborghini and McLaren; are investing heavily on the usage of carbon fibre parts. Ferrari feels that the costs, speed of construction and construction flexibility are the main reasons why they favour aluminium.
Other automaker firms that are investing in the usage of lightweight materials in their cars are Peugeot and Mazda. Peugeot has worked on it for several years now and Mazda has taken a lightweight approach with its upcoming CX-5.
Photo credit: clutchd.com, thecarbonfiberjournal.com and photobucket.com