Audi, a German automobile manufacturer, is long known for bringing new technologies to maintain the consumer confidence. Over the years, Audi introduced the corrosion free body shells, all-aluminum space frame, drive trains, LED daytime running lights and multimedia interface.
Audi has announced a new technology for construction of automotive light weight production models. These are light weight suspension springs made from glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP). Audi claims to greatly improve the driving experience by reducing the overall weight of the vehicle by 40 percent.
The basic component of the GFRP is fiber glass strands soaked with epoxy resin and twisted together. Additional fiberglass strands are wrapped around the core at a 45-degree angle to evenly distribute load across the whole spring.
The fiberglass springs are light green in color, thicker than the steel spring and has a slightly larger overall diameter with a lower number of coils. This is the reason for reduced weight from 2.7 Kg to 1.6 Kg. These fiber springs are located in the key area of the chassis system in the vehicle.
There exist potential benefits to use fiber glass instead of steel such as no corrosion and no effect of wheel washing chemicals.
“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 Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG.
Audi plans to bring the springs to upper mid-sized cars such as A6 or A7 before the end of this year.