BMW i3 And i8 To Lead The Way Of Carbon Fiber Being Used In A Conventional Model
|   Thursday, November 07, 2013
BMW has revolutionized the car industry after becoming the first manufacturer to use carbon fiber on an industrial scale. The material is extremely durable and very light. It will be gradually introduced on all models in the BMW range.

The Frankfurt Motor Show has recorded a historic moment for BMW. The German manufacturer launched this fall its first serial electrical products, thus inaugurating the new range, simply named "i". Although many BMW fans have difficulties to link the new i3 to the brand Bavarian, German officials are convinced that i3 and i8 hybrid supercar will be quickly adopted by the European family.


Besides the eco promises, the two BMW models announce a revolution in terms of the materials used for production. Ian Robertson, head of sales and marketing BMW claims that the BMW i3 and i8 are the promoters of technologies that will be adopted by most BMW models in the coming years.

The most important element is carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) widely used in the construction of the two electric models. BMW is the first manufacturer in the world that has managed to produce on an industrial scale carbon fiber, an extremely expensive material, used more in the aviation industry, motorboats and exotic supercars.

BMW has managed this performance, after the pressing of the material was reduced to 10 hours, the time required in the aviation industry today, to only 10 minutes. Streamlining this process has allowed the large-scale production of carbon fiber components, and they will eventually be found throughout many BMW models.

The new i3 has two essential components: the Drive modele, which refers to the aluminum chassis and the Life module, which is the passenger safety cell, created entirely from carbon fiber. If the first module absorbs the energy of impact, the second mode provides the perfect integrity of the passenger compartment.

BMW claims that the safety cell can be adapted to multiple body styles and the components are easier to paint too. At the same time, BMW says that in case of an accident, the carbon fiber structure does not raise concern for the extrication teams. An experiment conducted by the Munich firefighters confirmed this statement.
BMW also claims that the safety cell will be repaired in case of an accident. Deformed components can be cut and replaced. Only some service units will be able to provide these repairs, and the costs will be similar to those of conventional cars.

Besides the carbon fiber used in the case of the BMW i3 and i8, hemp was used for the ventilation duct of the passenger compartment, as well as recycling plastic from bottles for the roof. This got rid of a few kilos off the total mass. Both innovations will reach on the series production models.

Another innovation comes from the customization division, BMW Individual. Here we have the technique of treating the leather upholstery and other components with olive oil. According to the Germans, the solution is much more efficient and enjoyable. Currently, it is seeking possibilities to use this technique on a large scale.
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