Audi Reinforcing its Role in Automotive Lightweight Construction


audi (select to view enlarged photo)

MORE INFO

AUTO CENTRAL -- June 30, 2014: Suspension springs of glass fiber-reinforced polymer instead of steel For more precise driving: 40 percent weight savings Market launch in fall 2014 Audi-lightweight-springsAudi is reinforcing its leading role in automotive lightweight construction. The company is introducing new, lightweight suspension springs made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) in an upper mid-size model before the end of the year.

The GFRP spring, which Audi developed in collaboration with an Italian supplier, even looks different than a steel spring. It is light green, the fiber strand is thicker than the wire of a steel spring, and it has a slightly larger overall diameter with a lower number of coils. Most importantly, however, it is some 40 percent lighter. Whereas a steel spring for an upper mid-size model weighs nearly 2.7 kilograms (6.0 lb), a GFRP spring with the same properties weighs just approximately 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb). Together the four GFRP springs thus reduce the weight by roughly 4.4 kilograms (9.7 lb), half of which pertains to the unsprung mass. “The GFRP springs save weight at a crucial location in the chassis system. We are therefore making driving more precise and enhancing vibrational comfort,” said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG.

The core of the springs consists of long glass fibers twisted together and impregnated with epoxy resin. A machine wraps additional fibers around this core — which is only a few millimeters in diameter — at alternating angles of plus and minus 45 degrees to the longitudinal axis. These tension and compression plies mutually support one another to optimally absorb the stresses acting on the component. In the last production step, the blank is cured in an oven at temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius.

The GFRP springs can be precisely tuned to their respective task, and the material exhibits outstanding properties. It does not corrode, even after stone chipping, and is impervious to chemicals such as wheel cleaners. Last but not least, production requires far less energy than the production of steel springs.

Home | Buyers Guides By Make | New Car Buyers Guide | Used Car Super Search | Total New Car Costs | New Car and Truck Reviews
Automotive News | TACH-TV | Media Library | Discount Auto Parts

Copyright © 1996-2014 The Auto Channel. Contact Information, Credits, and Terms of Use. These following titles and media identification are Trademarks owned by The Auto Channel, LLC and have been in continuous use since 1987 : The Auto Channel, Auto Channel and TACH all have been in continuous use world wide since 1987, in Print, TV, Radio, Home Video, Newsletters, On-line, and other interactive media; all rights are reserved and infringement will be acted upon with force.

Privacy Statement | Size Does Matter | Media Kit | Affiliates

Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to Editor-in-Chief@theautochannel.com.

Submit Company releases or Product News stories to submit@theautochannel.com.
Place copy in body of email, NO attachments please.

To report errors and other problems with this page, please use this form.

Link to this page: http://www.theautochannel.com/