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      02-23-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
Jason
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Cool G11 7 Series to be First Mainstream BMW Model with Carbon Fiber as a Key Material

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Next 7 Series to be First Mainstream BMW Model with Carbon Fiber as a Key Material
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Gas prices are up, emission requirements have become more stringent, and vehicle weights have increased in the past years; which is not a good combination. Increased efficiency without sacrificing performance is the name of the automotive game going forward in the 21st century. A big step towards this goal is reducing the weight of vehicles.

BMW says the answer is carbon fiber technology, which it believes will fundamentally change the car industry, becoming increasingly important in the quest for lighter-weight materials to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. For that reason, the company started the joint venture with SGL Group to take the carbon fiber production process mass scale.

Although we've seen carbon fiber roofs on some BMW M models, the upcoming BMW i3 and i8 electric and hybrid electric cars will be the first BMW cars featuring carbon fiber as a key construction material. The use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) will then flow down to future mainstream models, beginning with the next generation 7 series.

According to BMW R&D chief Klaus Draeger, the next gen 7 series (due in 2015-2016) will be the first mainstream BMW model to utilize CFRP as a key construction material. The next 7 series' structure will probably be a mix of traditional materials (aluminum/steel) and CFRP, with the roof, hood, and trunk lid also possibly made from CFRP.


SGL-BMW Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Process

Below are some past videos featuring BMW's carbon fiber manufacturing process, including some views into SGL-BMW's Moses Lake, Washington plant, among other plants involved in the process. BMW set out to create a new infrastructure for carbon-fiber auto manufacturing covering everything from the material to the final product, and in the process open the door for wider use of the material. The company's goal is to bring down the cost of carbon fiber to be competitive with aluminum, making it a viable and common material for widespread use in its cars.







BMW i3 to Be World's First Volume-Produced Car with Passenger Cell Made from Carbon


BMW i3 will be the world's first volume-produced car with the passenger cell made from carbon fiber.













































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      02-23-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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I imagine the cost to repair a megcity car from an accident is going to be astronomical.
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      02-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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I imagine the cost to repair a megcity car from an accident is going to be astronomical.
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      02-23-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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It appears we are headed towards an era of unbelievably expensive vehicles for the sake of meeting unrealistic efficiency standards all based on the false religious belief that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
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      02-23-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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It appears we are headed towards an era of unbelievably expensive vehicles for the sake of meeting unrealistic efficiency standards all based on the false religious belief that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
How is it not a pollutant? Even if you are correct, and you're not; oil is finite...
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      02-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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how would you even repair frame damage?
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      02-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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Awesome! I hope no paint is a color option for these cars! I would love to get a 7 series with carbon fiber finish!
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      02-23-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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I hope this brings down CF prices significantly...
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      02-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Should just make a platinum BMW now
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      02-23-2012, 01:21 PM   #10
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How is it not a pollutant? Even if you are correct, and you're not; oil is finite...
yeah seriously. WTF? lol oil WILL eventually run out. The real question is when. Anyway I hope this leads to some cool car tech in the future. It is amazing how much more efficient cars are today and the trend is only going to continue
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      02-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #11
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Wtf? A much cheaper alternative is just making more hybrids/diesels, and use less CF in the car itself. As someone already pointed out, repairing this car would be extremely expensive.
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      02-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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yeah seriously. WTF? lol oil WILL eventually run out. The real question is when. Anyway I hope this leads to some cool car tech in the future. It is amazing how much more efficient cars are today and the trend is only going to continue
Unfortunately, it's a losing battle. Even if cars are 2x more efficient, the population is increasing and more and more people will be driving cars. All the while, the "low hanging fruit" oil is depleting, and although we may have only depleted less than 1/2 of the world's oil (in only the last 100+ years!), one cannot expect that the second half will be as easily (or as cost-efficiently) obtainable as the first half.
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      02-23-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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how would you even repair frame damage?
I doubt the frame will ever be carbon fiber simply based on what you just said. Frame damage would be near impossible to repair. They'd simply add cfrp to everything beyond the frame
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      02-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #14
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It appears we are headed towards an era of unbelievably expensive vehicles for the sake of meeting unrealistic efficiency standards all based on the false religious belief that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

negative 1 million
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      02-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #15
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The cost of CF will drop because it will be massively produced. It is now being used in racing car manufacturing in USA by Panoz for their 2012 ALMS program.
There is a new material called REAMS (Recyclable, Energy Absorbing, Matrix, System), which is lighter, cheaper & easier to produce. I wonder if ppl at BMW had actually considered it. Well, we'll probably never know. But here is a link http://www.highcroftracing.com/news/...-panoz-qa.html
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      02-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Diver View Post
It appears we are headed towards an era of unbelievably expensive vehicles for the sake of meeting unrealistic efficiency standards all based on the false religious belief that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.
The era that we are heading towards is higher gas prices, which requires a need for better fuel efficiency. BMW is following market trends, and the trends show that people want more fuel efficient vehicles. Why do you think the new 328i has a 4 cylinder motor? As gas prices climb higher, car manufacturers must find new ways to make cars cheaper to operate, and carbon fiber is one of those ways. I applaud BMW for being on the cutting edge of this technology for automobiles and for exploring new ways to increase fuel efficiency.
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      02-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #17
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Wtf? A much cheaper alternative is just making more hybrids/diesels, and use less CF in the car itself. As someone already pointed out, repairing this car would be extremely expensive.
Yes because sitting on our asses is exactly what we need to do as a society. Let's just make more crap using the technology we already have. Lets not think outside the box or develop new ideas. Exactly!

How do you get out of bed in the morning??? I really don't understand this kind of logic.
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      02-23-2012, 01:43 PM   #18
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About time cause BMW cars are seriously overweight, I always wondered why Audi could do a Aluminum spaceframe for years and BMW failed to catch on.
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      02-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #19
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I think this will cost many $ but i will be just like....
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4lrqPAFh-T...akeMyMoney.jpg
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      02-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #20
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This is a good thing anyway you look at it. While the current cost of CF is very high, basic priciples of economics will tell us that as production increases and CF become more easily accessible, the price at cost will significantly drop. As stated, oil is a finte object and will most likely be non-existant within the next century or 2. Regarding repairs, I dont see it being used immediately in chasis/frame development but more along the lines of external bodywork and posibly mechanical components. Also given the fact that it's much stronger than anything currently being used in the mass manufacturing of cars, frame damage may not be as common as may thing. F1 uses it all the time in their production process (im pretty sure) all the way down to the chasis.... Any other thoughts?
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      02-23-2012, 02:05 PM   #21
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I doubt the frame will ever be carbon fiber simply based on what you just said. Frame damage would be near impossible to repair. They'd simply add cfrp to everything beyond the frame
As far as I am aware, the entire body shell of the i3 is CFRP. Just like with most modern automobiles, there is no frame per se - it is a unibody design. Although there are still subframes and such which will no doubt be constructed largely from aluminum and other materials.

It seems to me that repair (and costs involved) are probably a very real concern with these new carbon fiber vehicles. Obviously you can't weld carbon fiber like you can steel or aluminum. Furthermore, part of what gives carbon fiber its strength is that the individual fibers are continuous over the entire expanse of the weave. If they are cut, I don't know how feasible it is to simply patch them back together in a way that maintains the strength and rigidity of the original part. I'm sure BMW has put a lot of reasearch into this, and has provisions for some of the issues repair will present. But at the same time, I'll bet that will take much, much less damage for a CFRP vehicle to be considered "totalled", than a traditional steel-based vehicle. While carbon fiber body panels can be replaced similar to how their steel counterparts are, if the damage goes more than "skin-deep" and the structural integrity of the body shell is compromised, it would seem that the car is a lost cause. Of course, they can salvage all the good parts (I don; think we can expect to see many i3s sitting in a junk yard) and use them to patch together another vehicle. But this will be costly to do. Even if they do come up with a system to recycle the parts in this manner, its obviously not something that just any old repair shop is going to be able to handle. For that matter, that goes for just about any repairs to a carbon fiber vehicle - they will need a network of specialty shops to do the work.
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      02-23-2012, 02:12 PM   #22
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Regarding repairs, I dont see it being used immediately in chasis/frame development but more along the lines of external bodywork and posibly mechanical components.
For the 7 series, carbon fiber might not be used for the frame, but for the i3 and i8 it definitely will be.

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Also given the fact that it's much stronger than anything currently being used in the mass manufacturing of cars, frame damage may not be as common as may thing.
Carbon fiber is stronger than steel on a per-mass basis. However, this just means you can use less of it to achieve the same strength as steal. It doesn't necessarily mean that a carbon fiber car is going to be more durable overall than a steel one.
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