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BMW invests in carbon fiber plant in U.S.

April 1st, 2012 / By: / Industry News, Markets

Lightweight cars sporting nonwoven carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components are achieving new records in fuel consumption and performance. BMW has entered a joint venture with SGL Carbon SE, Wiesbaden, Germany, to build a state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Wash., to use exclusively for BMW’s new i3 vehicle, set for launch by 2015. The lightweight nonwoven carbon fiber materials offer advantages over woven fabric versions because the alignment prevents fibers from kinking and losing some of their beneficial properties. These CFRP properties include corrosion resistance (no rust) that gives auto components a longer lifespan; textile flexibility until resins are injected into the lattice, allowing creative auto design; high tear resistance and strength; and the ability to absorb energy and eliminate vibrations. BMW has also developed a recycling system to segregate carbon fiber production waste and return it to the production process.

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