ThyssenKrupp & Maxion Wheels developing carbon fiber aluminum hybrid wheels

The combined technologies could generate a weight savings of up to 40%.

German-based ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components and Maxion Wheels (Novi, MI, US) will develop and market new lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels for the premium vehicle OEM market. The companies tout that the combined technologies could generate a weight savings of up to 40%. 

"With carbon fiber aluminum hybrid wheels we offer a unique option to our customers in the luxury and sports car segment to differentiate themselves through technology and design. The cooperation agreement with Maxion Wheels marks an important milestone in the development of our carbon fiber wheel technology. It shows the technological maturity we have reached and combines our innovations with the leading player in the wheel industry. Commercialization is the logical next step," said Jens Werner, managing director at ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components.

Based on the developments of ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components in carbon fiber hybrid wheels, with its unique braiding technology, the partners have built and extensively tested prototypes for use on luxury cars and SUVs. Testing took place at certified Maxion Wheels test labs. In addition, the ThyssenKrupp – Maxion Wheels team is working with the Volkswagen Group to test prototypes on a vehicle. Public road tests have shown improved performance, e.g superior damping which leads to less vibration and road noise.

Maxion plans to bring its liquid­forged aluminum discs to the project, which offers comparable material properties as traditionally forged wheels at lower cost and at the full design flexibility of casted wheels.

"The aluminum/carbon fiber hybrid wheels we develop through our cooperation with ThyssenKrupp will fill an important niche in the ultra lightweight vehicle market," said Kai Kronenberg, vice president of business development & global innovation at Maxion Wheels. "It will benefit our customers by expanding our already extensive range of products and capabilities, while enhancing our leadership position in the industry."

The ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components – Maxion Wheels cooperation will include the development and commercialization of the ultra lightweight aluminum/carbon fiber hybrid wheels. A joint sales initiative and support team will engage the market to bring new capabilities and wheels that will benefit customers far into the future.