Better alternatives exist, particularly Amplitex.
Carbon fibre is arguably the most popular way of increasing rigidity and strength while minimizing weight gains, but it’s not the only strong lightweight material out there. Various manufacturers have experimented with flax fibres, as seen on a Porsche racecar in 2020 and Polestar’s Precept concept. One of the leading companies in this field is Bcomp, and it says that its ampliTex material is the future of lightweight cars.
Naturally, it’s still a long way from being used in mainstream applications. Still, we could be closer to that than ever, as Bcomp has just announced that it has completed an investment round that has attracted commitments from companies including Volvo and Porsche, and even BMW.
As a matter of fact, BMW has been using Bcomp’s ampliTex material and powerRibs technologies in its racecars since 2019, as seen on its Formula E racer and the more recent BMW M4 DTM and GT racing cars. Porsche’s Cayman GT4 CS MR was another German track car to benefit but the Stuttgart-based automaker also implemented some of Bcomp’s products in the Mission R concept.
Clearly, motorsport is where the company is seeing most applications of its products, but as a greener alternative to carbon fiber, Bcomp’s flax fiber composites could well be considered for mass-market introduction as companies look to reduce their carbon footprint.
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