GERMANY: AUDI and Voith form development partnership
Audi and Voith have signed a letter of intent to develop fibre-reinforced materials, made with a highly automated process, for high volume automotive production.
The planned long-term and exclusive partnership will develop materials to reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel efficiency. It will work on improving the way conventional fibre reinforced polymers are made and develop environment-compatible fibre composite materials to complement existing materials.
"Fiber-reinforced polymers offer weight and strength advantages, which we have already put to use in the R8 and RS3, for instance. We want to use these advantages for high-volume production as well, and therefore the focus of our partnership with Voith is on specific car projects," said Audi chairman Rupert Stadler.
"We are concentrating on the manufacturing and recyclability of fiber-reinforced materials in the interest of a sustainable material cycle."
Voith has experience with the use of carbon fibre reinforced polymer for industrial plant design, such as in lightweight construction components in paper machines or in drive engineering.
In return, its auto partner has experience in lightweight construction and that has successfully introduced new materials into high volume production.