Audi bringing fiber-reinforced plastic springs to production models

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2014 3:20 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2014 3:25 pm ET

Image By: Audi AG The glass fiber-reinforced polymer spring going into an Audi sedan later this year, left, is about 40 percent lighter than the more conventional steel spring.

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Automotive
Companies & Associations Volkswagen AG

Audi AG is introducing suspension springs made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer for an upcoming upper-mid-size model.

The Volkswagen AG subsidiary is collaborating with an undisclosed Italian supplier on the part, which will be in production before the end of the year, according to a company news release.

The light green spring is about 40 percent lighter than the steel alternative — 3.5 pounds compared to 6 pounds for the steel version, the company says. That adds up to a savings of about 9.7 pounds for four springs.

“The GFRP springs save weight at a crucial location in the chassis system. We are therefore making driving more precise and enhancing vibrational comfort,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, a member of Audi AG’s Board of Management for Technical Development, in a statement.

The spring is made by wrapping glass fibers in alternating angles around a core of twisted fibers impregnated with epoxy resin. The completed fiber strand is thicker than the wire of a steel spring and the spring has a slightly larger diameter overall.  The automaker says it does not corrode and is impervious to chemicals.

The move to a plastic coil spring comes as multiple suppliers have been investing in technology to begin offering them. German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG, for instance, has also developed suspension systems using glass fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics.


Comments

Audi bringing fiber-reinforced plastic springs to production models

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: July 1, 2014 3:20 pm ET
Updated: July 1, 2014 3:25 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Auto supplier M-Tek relocating headquarters

December 18, 2014 3:37 pm ET

M-Tek Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese automotive supplier Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd., will build a new North American corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro,...    More

Image

Soy-based foam improves window performance, sustainability

December 18, 2014 12:51 pm ET

Launched in April 2013, Madison, Wis.-based WFI Global LLC is making a name in the fenestration market with what it says is a distinct product...    More

Image

Europe puts its 'Circular Economy' recycling effort on hold, for now

December 18, 2014 12:28 pm ET

The European Commission has withdrawn its Circular Economy initiative from its 2015 work program, and will instead replace it with “a new, more ...    More

Image

Indian auto parts maker set to buy assets in Germany, Mexico

December 18, 2014 10:35 am ET

Indian auto parts maker Samvardhana Motherson Gropup is buying the assets of insolvent German plastics car parts producer Scherer & Trier (S&T).    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events