With the current state of the art it is very complex to manufacture wheels from fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP). The processes are often not very flexible or require a high degree of manual work. Consequently, there is a high manufacturing effort with high costs, which makes the use of FRP wheel structures too expensive in many areas.
High-performance FRP-Wheel-Structures at Low Costs - CompoSpoke Brings Fiber Reinforced Plastics Into New Applications.
CompoSpoke is a manufacturing technology that specifically addresses the disadvantages of these conventional methods. The core is a wet winding process in which fibers are automatically wound onto small molded parts and simultaneously formed into wheel structures. The process, for which a patent application has been filed, is currently the only fully variable process for the production of monolithic composite wheel structures from a single continuous fiber. For many geometries, an automated design with a special IT-Tool is possible. Combined with the use of 3D printing in molded part construction, customer-specific solutions can thus be implemented very quickly.
The CompoSpoke technology has the following advantages:
Efficient & Fast: The economical basic material used for wet winding, the avoidance of waste and the automated production process result in comparatively low production costs and an improved environmental balance.
Lightweight & Powerful: Compared to conventional materials, the mass of the components is significantly reduced with the same load-bearing capacity. In addition, the fibers in the wheel spokes can be optimally aligned in the load direction. This allows the production of lightweight, and at the same time, high-performance components.
Configurable & Flexible: The process is flexible in wheel geometry so that it can be adapted to different diameters, depths, spoke angles, material thicknesses and connection points.
CompoSpoke is a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy of Germany (BMWi). The design and manufacturing technology will be developed as part of the EXIST Research Transfer Program 2019-2020. The aim of the project is to spin off a company that addresses markets between metallic mass products and highly specialized lightweight construction applications. The use of the technology aims primarily at markets in mechanical and plant engineering as well as mobility applications.