Carbon Fiber Car Parts
Many car owners, especially those who have a special interest in sports car are passionate about car fiber car parts because of some advantages that improve the overall driving experience. One advantage is the considerable weight reduction, because studies have shown that by using carbon fiber parts the weight of a car can be reduced by 60%. This considerable weight reduction comes with its own benefit: better fuel economy. It has been proven that a weight reduction of 100 pounds will result in a fuel economy increased by 2%. The weight reduction also has an impact on the car’s speed, so the use of these parts is a real blessing for race cars.
Another advantage is represented by the low maintenance required by carbon fiber parts. Unlike other materials used to manufacture car parts, carbon fiber doesn’t corrode, so you will never have to replace such a part because of rust. That’s the main problem which affects used cars and it tends to affect more components in the same time if it’s not caught early. By using carbon fiber parts you will avoid this problem. In addition, carbon fiber parts are considered safer than most parts because the tests have shown that this material is five times stronger than steel. As a result, in case of a collision the passengers of a car made of carbon fiber will benefit from better protection.
Example of cars that use such parts and can be found in a dealership are the BMW M6 which has carbon fiber panels included in its body, the Corvette ZR1 and the Ford GT. Another candidate is the Audi R8. The number of cars that include such car parts is low because the manufacturing costs involved are high and that’s why the price tag for the final product easily reaches the $100,000 limit. This higher cost is due to the fact that while a pound of steel costs around one dollar per pound, the cost of a pound of carbon fiber is ten times higher. The specialists in the field believe that if the price drops to $5 per pound, the price tags will become low enough to allow mass production of such cars.
Another disadvantage of carbon fiber parts is related to waste disposal. The car parts made from steel that are no longer of use can be melted and used for manufacturing brand new parts. On the other hand, carbon fiber is a material that can’t be melted, so it’s harder to come up with a plan to recycle it. In addition, after recycling it looses some of its properties (it’s not as strong). Due to this loss it can no longer be used for the manufacture of other parts. In the end, the manufacturers that decide to use this material have to make a compromise between the ability to reduce oil consumption and the fact that they are creating large amounts of waste.
A huge step was made by BMW which used for the BMW i3 a passenger cell made entirely from carbon fiber. This decision was made because the i3 is a completely electric car and the weight is a big issue. With a range of 100 miles per hour, this car puts every pound less to good use. In fact, the BMW i3 is considered to be an ice breaker for the many similar cars which are expected to flood the market in the next years. Specialists have estimated that by 2019 the car industry will ne using 134,280 tones of carbon fiber a year (in 2010 only 2,300 tones were used).
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