Bucci Composites completes testing of new carbon fiber wheel
Close-up of Bucci’s new resin transfer molded carbon fiber automotive wheel. Photo Credit: Bucci Composites
Bucci Composites (Faenza, Italy), a fabricator of composite parts and structures for automotive, aerospace, marine and industrial applications, reported on March 4 , that it has completed development of a 22-inch fully carbon fiber automotive wheel rim that, Bucci says, has features not found on competing wheels.
After years spent developing the wheel, in conjunction with a well-known automotive OEM, Bucci says it has passed the rigorous TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein/Technical Inspection Association) test regime with flying colors, taking the wheels one step closer to market launch. Bucci says that, to date, no carbon fiber wheel manufacturer has completed the test program of the renowned German testing organization. To verify this, in the final test stage, the wheel was put through its paces at the Nürburgring, Germany, test track.
One of the main innovations of the Bucci Composites wheel, according to the company, is its manufacture, which applies patented concepts with high-pressure resin transfer moulding (HP-RTM) technology. The optimization of the process and the high standard of the technology used have led to considerable cost reductions, while still meeting the production rates demanded by the automotive industry.
Andrea Bedeschi, general manager at Bucci, tells CW that the wheel was designed in collaboration with a single OEM, and that OEM will serve as the launch customer. Also, the launch OEM is the exclusive customer of the wheel. Bedeschi adds that, given the performance specifications of the 22-inch wheel, it is targeted toward high-performance vehicle use only. Further, he says, the cost of the wheel is about 60% more than the highest performing forged aluminum wheels on the market.
Bucci says that, compared to the equivalent forged aluminium wheel, the Bucci Composites full composite wheel achieved six kilograms of weight savings per corner. This appreciably improved steering agility through the significantly reduced rotational inertia and enabled unparalleled suspension tuning setup with less unsprung mass.
Bucci also reports that onboard comfort was also greatly improved, thanks to reduced rim deflection when going around bends; tire wear also was correspondingly reduced.
Bucci Composites SpA, located in the famous Motor Valley of Italy, 22,000 square meters of production space, spread over two locations. The company employs about 250 people.
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