The wheel features an Araldite structural system carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) rim around an aluminum alloy centre star.
The wheel features an Araldite structural system carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) rim around an aluminum alloy centre star.

Huntsman Advanced Materials has unveiled a hybrid wheel that is says could save up to 20% of weight against its aluminum competitors.

The wheel has been produced by a tier one supplier to the performance car sector, Huntsman says.

It features an Araldite structural system carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) rim around an aluminum alloy centre star developed using high-pressure resin transfer molding process. It delivers the necessary thermal and mechanical performance and because it is lighter weight can also potentially save energy.

The wheel also has less rotating mass and less unsprung mass leading to a reduction in fuel consumption, less road noise and decreased stopping distances, as well as providing increased acceleration, improved mechanical grip, and improved steering and handling.

Mass production

‘Carbon wheels have been around for some years now but have mostly been a custom made, niche application,’ said Nastassja Kelley, marketing leader EMEA, composites and adhesives for Huntsman Advanced Materials. ‘The ongoing lightweighting trend in the automotive industry is pushing OEMs and Tiers to become more creative in terms of materials and how to keep or improve performance while complying with more and more strict CO2 regulations.

‘This trend has given the carbon wheel development a tremendous push. Many OEMs and Tiers are now looking into cost competitive mass production of carbon wheels; thus the formerly custom made and very expensive wheel that was primarily purchased by car and motor sport fanatics will be available for a much broader market in the near future.’

This story is reprinted from material from Huntsman, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.