ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components and Maxion Wheels have announced a cooperation agreement to develop and market ultra-lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels for the premium vehicle OEM market.
It is claimed that the combined technologies could generate weight savings of up to 40%, over traditional high performance forged aluminum. The joint development team has also announced that it will work alongside OEMs to help create custom solutions to meet 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,” explained Dr. Jens Werner, managing director at ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components. “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.”
Based on the developments of ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components in carbon fiber hybrid wheels, and its unique braiding technology, the partners have already built, and extensively tested prototypes for use on a variety of luxury cars and SUVs. The testing took place at Maxion Wheels test lab facilities. In addition, the ThyssenKrupp – Maxion Wheels team is working with the Volkswagen Group to test prototypes on a physical vehicle. Public road tests have already shown improved damping, resulting in less vibration and road noise.
The partnership has also announced that it will use Maxion’s liquid-forged aluminum discs, which offer 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,” added Kai Kronenberg, vice president of business development and 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.”