Lamborghini: New Center for Carbon Fiber Research
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. announces a new Advanced Composites Research Center (ACRC) at its headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. The center carries out research on innovative design and production methods for carbon-fiber elements. Both the ACRC and an all-new, highly efficient production process for extremely complex carbon-fiber structures were developed at the same time. The process is secured through an array of patents and constitutes a breakthrough into the next generation of carbon-fiber components.
Lamborghini has many years’ experience in composite elements. The first carbon-fiber based chassis prototype was built for the Countach as far back as 1983. Series production parts first appeared in 1985. The current Lamborghini Murciélago is built largely of carbon fiber, with 93 kilograms of structural carbon-fiber materials in its bodyshell. The Gallardo Spyder’s engine cover is the largest component ever produced in the automotive world with RTM technology and a class-A surface optimum finish.
The new Lamborghini Advanced Composite Research Center comprises two facilities covering an area of more than 2,600 square meters. A team of 30 people, engineers and technicians, works here to develop vehicle components of all shapes and sizes. The ACRC is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, such as a test laboratory with sophisticated testing and measuring devices, automated cutting and casting equipment, a heated, 1,000 ton press and several autoclaves to harden carbon-fiber parts under high pressure and temperatures. Efforts focus, however, on “out of autoclave” technologies such as Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), whereby carbon-fiber structures are compressed under high pressure; or vacuum RTM, whereby resin is forced into carbon-fiber using negative pressure.
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