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

FTC warns bag makers to take care before making biodegradeability claims

October 23, 2014 12:30 pm ET

Makers of oxodegradable or oxo-biodegradable plastic bags should consider themselves on notice, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei's growth strategy places a big focus on North America

October 23, 2014 1:21 pm ET

Sometimes, knowing your weaknesses is just as important as knowing your strengths. And if 2014 is any indication, automotive supplier Toyoda Gosei Co....    More

Image

Packaging specialist Amcor hits sustainability goals ahead of schedule

October 23, 2014 11:15 am ET

Global packaging company Amcor Ltd. has achieved its waste reduction goals two years ahead of schedule, according to the company's new sustainability ...    More

Image

Simple lightweighting in packaging, caps not so simple anymore

October 22, 2014 4:16 pm ET

The days of finding simple ways to remove additional weight — and costs — from plastic bottles are over, according to one expert.    More

Image

Ford's final ACH plant, injection molder of HVAC systems, to close

October 22, 2014 1:58 pm ET

Ford Motor Co. will shed the last line of business in 9-year-old Automotive Component Holdings LLC by December when ACH closes its Plymouth, Mich., cl...    More

Market Reports

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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

More Events