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 Automotive, Sustainability
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

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Plasan investing in capacity, jobs to supply auto market with carbon fiber

September 19, 2014 3:05 pm ET

Growth in the emerging automotive market for carbon-fiber composites has spurred a $29 million investment in a Walker, Mich., factory    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei expanding in Mexico

September 19, 2014 2:33 pm ET

Toyoda Gosei North America Corp. is investing $67 million in a 398,000-square-foot plant in central Mexico to supply the automotive industry with...    More

Exo-s buys injection and blow molder in Mexico, expands footprint

September 19, 2014 2:15 pm ET

Custom molder Exo-s Inc. has bought an injection and blow molding operation in San Juan del Rio, Querétaro, Mexico.    More

Image

Study: 75 percent of Australia's ocean debris is plastic

September 18, 2014 7:48 pm ET

About 75 percent of the trash found in the waters off Australia's beaches is plastic, with most of that coming from local sources rather than sea-born...    More

Market Reports

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events