SABIC developing wheel of the future
JEDDAH – Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and Kringlan Composites, a Switzerland-based company, as well as other industry partners are working to further advance the development of the world’s first thermoplastic composite wheel.
Such a wheel offers a high strength, lightweight solution to help automakers improve performance and fuel economy. The revolutionary wheel design and the material technology upon which it is based can also offer sustainability advantages with reduced emissions from the vehicle’s use phase, less environmental impact from manufacturing compared to conventional processes and full system recyclability.
This ground breaking innovation can be used to replace traditional materials, such as metal and aluminum alloy, helping reduce weight and emissions, and potentially save manufacturing costs across industries from aerospace to automotive, and consumer goods, Ernesto Occhiello, SABIC Executive Vice President, Technology and Innovation, announced.
To advance the wheel’s development, SABIC and Kringlan have been working on a prototype for a German automotive manufacturer. This innovative and lightweight wheel – the first of its kind in the world – is strong, light, stunning in design.
While the first application of this new technology is being driven in the automotive industry, its potential reach extends to multiple industries where weight reduction is a key driver. In washing machines, for example, this new three-dimensional carbon fiber composite technology can reduce the inertia – the amount of energy needed –to start the machine drum moving, compared to current metal alternatives, which can mean greater efficiency, and potentially a lower carbon footprint for the machine.