Supercar maker BAC experiments with graphene

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Dynamics engineers investigating how to lower a vehicle’s weight and center of gravity may be interested in the latest developments at BAC. This UK-based supercar manufacturer has become the first manufacturer in the world to develop a car featuring panels made from graphene, the innovative and lightweight material that brings weight and strength benefits.

Graphene is made of sheets of carbon just one atom thick, and is lighter than standard carbon fiber. It is also stronger than carbon fiber, meaning that it can bring weight reductions of around 20% while being 200-times stronger than steel. These benefits could have implications for cost, performance and fuel economy when applied wider in the manufacturing process.

BAC has partnered with Haydale Composite Solutions to create rear wheel arches made out of graphene, and has been putting the material through its paces on the Mono, a road legal single-seater supercar. BAC chose to test the use of graphene on the rear wheel arches due to the size and complexity of the part, to thoroughly test the manufacturing process and how the material fitted in with the car.

Ebby Shahidi, Haydale Composite Solutions’ director of aerospace and defense stated, “We are pleased to have worked on the design and development of the graphene enhanced carbon fibre materials for the BAC Mono. These initial materials have shown some major increases in impact and thermal performance coupled with improved surface finish and it’s pleasing to see these attributes being demonstrated on such a high performance vehicle as the Mono.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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