Volkswagen Group Testing Carbon Fiber Wheel Prototypes
ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components and Maxion Wheels have established a cooperation agreement to develop and market innovative new ultra-lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels for the premium vehicle OEM market. The combined expertise of ThyssenKrupp, a leading global automotive components supplier and innovator in carbon fiber applications and lightweight materials, with Maxion Wheels, the world’s largest and most innovative wheel manufacturer, will offer customers exceptional performance benefits at an attractive price point.
The combined technologies could generate a weight savings of up to 40% when compared to high performance forged aluminum wheels and at the same time offer high value styling. The ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components – Maxion Wheels team will work with OEMs to develop custom solutions to meet their specific needs.
“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,” says Dr. 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 Wheels and ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components will continue to enhance the value proposition of the lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels. As an important contribution Maxion will bring their innovative liquid-forged aluminum discs to the cooperation, 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,” says 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.