Braided Carbon Wheels
Porsche 911 Turbo S with a World Première
According to their own statements, Porsche has become the world’s first vehicle manufacturer to offer lightweight wheels with braided carbon fiber. They are available now as an option for the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series.
Manufactured entirely from carbon-fiberreinforced polymer (CFRP), the wheel is essentially comprised of two components. The wheel center is made from carbon fiber fabric. This involves cutting and assembling over 200 individual components. The second component is the rim base made from braided carbon fiber by what is currently the world’s largest carbon fiber braiding machine with a diameter of approximately nine meters. The wheel center is then braided into the rim base. The assembled wheel is impregnated with resin and pre-hardened at high pressure and high temperatures. The finished wheel is hardened at high temperatures followed by a long cooling process. The central lock is then inserted into the finished wheel and the wheel is protected with clear lacquer.
Together, the innovative wheels weigh around 8.5 kg less than standard alloy wheels, which is a reduction of 20 %. They are also 20 % stronger. With a reduced unsprung weight, the tires trail the surface of the road better and are perfectly optimized for absorbing longitudinal and lateral forces.
Porsche is the first company in the global automotive industry to use this extremely complex technology. The braiding technology offers key advantages over the more conventional method of manufacturing pre-impregnated carbon fiber fabric: This production technique makes the material structure of the carbon considerably denser and more compact. This increases rigidity. Using the material more efficiently also produces less waste. The new carbon wheel is made from a total of 18 kms carbon fiber or eight square meters of carbon fiber fabric.
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