19th March 2015
The ESE Carbon Company and DSM have worked together to develop a highly innovative car wheel based on DSM’s Daron® 200 RTM Resin in combination with ESE Industries’ proprietary manufacturing process to produce the lightest production carbon fiber wheels currently available in the market. These wheels are manufactured in high volume using the NGAP manufacturing processes, while being far lighter and stronger than their metal counterparts.
Steel and aluminum alloys have long been the predominant materials used for the manufacture of car wheels. However, these materials have significant limitations compared to composites: they are prone to corrosion, are heavier, and can’t be further optimized to reduce weight without sacrificing safety.
The ESE Carbon Company produces ultra-light weight carbon fiber wheels for the automotive aftermarket, which weigh in at less than 11.5 lbs (5.2 kg) and are rated for a maximum axle load of 3,850 lbs (1,746 kgs). With an unmatched strength and stiffness to weight ratio, these carbon fiber composite wheels are structurally optimized for the required loading while minimizing weight. Reducing the weight of vehicle wheels yields better handling, a quieter and smoother ride, faster acceleration, quicker deceleration, and improved fuel efficiency.
ESE Carbon’s E1 wheels are produced using ESE Industries’ Next Generation Autoclave Process (NGAP), which combines high speed autoclave cure with the low viscosity of DSM’s Daron® 200 RTM resin to achieve very low de-molding times. The NGAP technology leverages the advantages of high quality autoclave manufacturing with a mass production approach to deliver high quality carbon fiber composites at a price point that is not currently possible with any other production method.
DSM’s Daron® 200 RTM resin has been chosen as the matrix material by ESE Carbon because of its excellent processing characteristics (low viscosity, easy carbon fiber impregnation, high production speed) and high mechanical properties at the elevated temperatures typical for this application. Daron® 200 RTM resins can be easily adjusted for complex-shaped part designs and a specific process set up. Yet, once in place the system can run consistently and yield parts with predictable mechanical properties.
”The collaboration between DSM and ESE Industries has resulted in a great product breakthrough; we’re extremely pleased with DSM and the performance of their Daron® 200 resin system”, comments Eric Escribano, President & CEO of ESE Industries, “The resulting ultra-light weight carbon wheels can be custom-made and designed according to specific OEM preferences, as well as tailored for a full range of applications across multiple industries.”
“DSM likes to closely work with customers in bringing new material systems to life” adds Peter Hilzendegen, Market Segment Leader SMC/ BMC for DSM Composite Resins. “This is a nice example of how joint innovation can simultaneously bring superior performance and improved sustainability.”