Henkel to develop composite wheels

Adhesive specialist Henkel says that it has reached a strategic material supply agreement with Carbon Revolution, an Australian manufacturer of one-piece automotive carbon composite wheels. The collaboration includes dedicated manufacturing facilities established at Henkel’s existing plant near Melbourne.

According to the companies, one-piece carbon composite technology in wheel manufacture is an emerging choice for global car makers. Single piece carbon fiber composite wheels can offer up to 40-50% weight savings relative to conventional aluminum wheels, Henkel says.

‘Based on a number of years of close collaboration with Carbon Revolution, we have extended our proven portfolio of composite material technologies to create proprietary solutions that meet the demanding performance specifications of the global car makers,’ said Konrad Brimo Hayek, senior business development manager. ‘The collaboration with Carbon Revolution is targeted at providing various global OEM carbon wheel programs with the best solutions available and includes active support from Henkel via dual production capacities in the EU and locally in Australia.’

Carbon Revolution says that its carbon fiber composite wheels can offer significant reductions in unsprung rotational mass, which leads to immediate vehicle handling benefits, from better steering feel and traction to improved accelerating and braking response due to the composite wheels’ lower inertia.

‘As lightweighting components, carbon wheels can make a significant contribution to minimizing the energy consumed when spinning the wheels up and dragging them back down every time the car is accelerated or slowed,’ said Carbon Revolution CTO Brett Gass. ‘This saves fuel on combustion engine vehicles and battery power on hybrid and fully electric vehicles, maximizing their range.’

This story uses material from Henkel, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.