Mercedes Race Cars Adopt Natural-Fiber Bumpers


Swiss sustainable lightweighting business Bcomp is now supplying its superior-functionality normal-fiber technologies to HWA AG — development spouse of Mercedes-AMG — for the new front bumpers on Mercedes-AMG GT4 race autos. Bcomp’s bodywork will give a sustainable alternative to the GT4’s present carbon-fiber panels, offering equivalent mechanical efficiency in stiffness and excess weight and increasing safety.

The new bumper takes advantage of Bcomp’s ampliTex and powerRibs technologies, which harness the purely natural rewards of flax fiber. The powerRibs reinforcement grid utilizes the large precise bending stiffness of flax to successfully establish up height, considerably boosting the flexural stiffness of slender-walled shell factors. The new bumpers are also safer in the occasion of a crash or collision and lower the chance of punctures. In contrast to the sharp fracturing and splintering of carbon fiber, ampliTex specialized materials are more ductile on impression, while the powerRibs confine the hurt zone, reducing debris and risk to motorists, marshals, and spectators.

Pure-fiber bumpers reduce CO2 emissions by 85%

A full sustainability analysis concluded that the normal-fiber bumpers offered a overall product emission reduction of 90% compared with the carbon-fiber sections as nicely as an 85% reduction in CO2 emissions from cradle-to-gate, considering all output measures from uncooked material to last component.

Considering the fact that the new bumper is whole all-natural fiber, it can be utilized for thermal power restoration, turning somewhere around 80% of the vitality saved in the element into renewable vitality, resulting in a system without having dangerous carbon waste or pieces that have to have to go into landfill.

Anne Mink, Manager Technical Growth, HWA AG, commented: “The subject of sustainability plays a main role in our organization. Quite a few awards for our endeavours in the place of environmental security are evidence of this. Aspect of our sustainability principle is to evaluate and optimize the products everyday living cycle with regard to environmental elements as early as in the product or service growth phase. Furthermore, it is our aspiration to regularly adapt our extended-standing engineering know-how to existing environmental prerequisites in get to be in a position to provide our customers sustainable solutions at the greatest technological stage. In Bcomp, we have bought a advancement companion with considerable practical experience in sustainable products. The final result of our cooperation demonstrates that technologically equivalent factors can be created from alternative elements.”



Picture courtesy of Bcomp/Johannes NollmeyerMercedes-AMG GT4 race car with natural-fiber bumpers
The organic-fiber bumpers met all racing regulations and requirements, according to Bcomp.


Checks validate efficiency promises

Reverse engineered from HWA’s authentic, the all-natural-fiber bumper’s design has been collaboratively optimized around the earlier 12 months. To guarantee that the bumper met all racing regulations and prerequisites, the HWA team done comprehensive mechanical testing and validation. On the HWA testbench, the stiffness of the entire front conclude of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 was measured, simulating the aerodynamic drag and front diffusor downforce. The exams have been performed with a carbon-fiber bumper as the benchmark and afterward with the new natural-fiber bumper, validating that the freshly developed section performs to the very same substantial-functionality amount.

Also, part of the task was to validate the HWA in-home paint procedures with ampliTex and powerRibs, optimizing the A-area high quality of the element up to a amount that fulfills the top quality benchmarks of HWA and Mercedes-AMG motorsport. Generation of the old carbon-fiber bumpers has now ceased, and all client groups will acquire the new Bcomp model with their upcoming orders.

Applications span automotive interiors to satellite panels

“We are amazingly excited to see HWA and the Mercedes-AMG GT4 race car or truck plan embracing sustainable, normal-fiber bodywork,” stated Christian Fischer, CEO and co-founder of Bcomp. “With equal stiffness and bodyweight, elevated security, and an 85% reduction in carbon emissions, it is a wonderful enhancement that we arrived at collectively. Growth coincided with the top of the pandemic, and it was tough at moments. In reality, our initially bumper construct, design fitting, optimizations, and revisions ended up all attained in the course of the pandemic — a testimony to the difficult function and persistence of all concerned,” said Fischer.

Bcomp’s award-winning systems are by now employed in 16 racing series around the earth, but their applications are not limited to motorsport. From automotive inside panels and bodywork to luxury yachting and the European Place Agency’s latest organic-fiber satellite panels, Bcomp’s systems are relied on where ever weight, stiffness, and sustainability are critical. With the GT4 autos closely dependent on their street-going counterparts, these racing projects open up prospects for foreseeable future significant-functionality highway applications.


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