BMW HP4 series racing car is a model to display cutting-edge technology, exotic materials, skillful technology, design and creativity. It tells us that all experience, skills and the most advanced technology are waiting to go beyond. But unfortunately, only 1% of the people can afford 78000 dollars.
Now, it provides an affordable way for the remaining 99% to apply such carbon fiber technology to their own motorcycles. Because of this application, BMW has just won the 2018 JEC innovation prize for leisure and Sports Awards for the development and manufacture of a backswing arm made of carbon fiber.
With the invention of carbon fiber in 1860, light weight and high strength carbon fiber has become one of the most popular materials in aerospace and automotive industry. The first time used in motorcycle was in 1994, when Cagiva used carbon fiber to produce C194 500cc two stroke. Nowadays, carbon fiber is widely used in racing cars and expensive automobiles and motorcycles. People like this material very much, and even use this exquisite material to replace the non functional parts of their machines to get exclusive labels. However, this is an expensive thing. But now it’s not.
Thanks to the German car giants, they use this light structure in cars and motorcycles. The latest example of BMW’s motorbike is HP4 racing. Its entire single hull frame and chassis, wheels and some other parts are made of carbon fiber. It is an enhanced plastic produced by the industrial RTM process.
In order to further enhance this process, BMW found a way to make the process cheaper and mass production. The first example is their carbon fiber rear arm. They have developed an efficient manufacturing process suitable for mass production, using carbon fiber reinforced plastics and thermoplastic CFP band reinforcing systems for injection molding parts.
In order to further reduce the cost, BMW also adopted robot welding technology. It is also applied to the rear swing arm of motorcycle because its force at work is not as obvious as that of the chassis part.
CFP recovery of short fiber components through injection molding method, and even through various composite materials and metal inlay to accurately configure the performance of components.
The project is represented by “backswing arm”, which makes BMW motor company play a pioneering role in the automobile industry. BMW I3 has gained a deep view on the use of a series of products, and contains some interesting aspects in the future of the development of new BMW motorcycles and cars. Dr. Joachim Starke of BMW said.
Creating a cheaper manufacturing process to produce carbon fiber composites directly affects future motorcycles, which will be lighter than ever, thus obtaining new riding experiences and significant improvements in engine performance data.