World premiere for Porsche’s carbon wheels

Posted on 10 Sep 2017 and read 286 times
World premiere for Porsche’s carbon wheelsPorsche (www.porsche.com) says it has become the world’s first vehicle manufacturer to offer lightweight wheels made using braided carbon fibre.

These are available now as an option for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive series.

Together, the carbon wheels weigh around 8.5kg less than standard alloy wheels (a reduction of 20%), while also offering 20% more strength.

With a reduced un-sprung weight, the tyres ‘trail’ the surface of the road better and are optimised for absorbing longitudinal and lateral forces.

Furthermore, lower rotating masses mean more spontaneity — both in acceleration and braking.

Manufactured entirely from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), the wheels essentially have two components. The centre is made from carbon fibre fabric, a process that involves cutting and assembling over 200 individual parts; the rim base is made from braided carbon fibre using what is currently the world’s largest carbon fibre braiding machine (with a diameter of about 9m).

The wheel centre is then braided into the rim base, before the assembled wheel is impregnated with resin and pre-hardened at high pressure and high temperature.

Finally, a central lock is inserted into the finished wheel, which is then protected with clear lacquer.

This braiding technology offers key advantages over the more-conventional method of manufacturing pre-impregnated carbon fibre fabric; it makes the material structure of the carbon considerably denser and more compact.

Using the material more efficiently also produces less waste. In Germany, the price for the wheels will be 15,232 euros (including VAT).

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