Porsche Uses the World's Largest Radial Braiding Machine to Create Carbon Fiber Wheels

Porsche Uses the World's Largest Radial Braiding Machine to Create Carbon Fiber Wheels

Porsche's exclusive supercar, the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, will be the first car in the world to use advanced carbon wheels at the start of next year. The German automobile manufacturer managed to produce this advanced carbon fiber-reinforced polymer wheel by using a giant radial machine. This large machine that looks like a Ferris wheel is capable of braiding or weaving 18 kilometers of carbon fiber compound, which is the main body of the slick carbon wheel. Using the advanced wheels results in an optimized driving motion and satisfaction. But, of course, there is a catch. A set of these carbon wheels is billed at $18,000, which is pretty much the price tag of an economy car.

Porsche Uses the World's Largest Radial Braiding Machine to Create Carbon Fiber Wheels

[Image Source: Porsche]

The world's largest radial machine braids carbon fiber wheels

Porsche's move to equip their 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series with braided carbon wheels makes them the first global automaker to use the advanced material.

Using carbon wheels instead of conventional alloy wheels results in "increased driving dynamics and driving pleasure". However, manufacturing this advanced material comes with a steep technological hurdle as the process of braiding or weaving carbon fibers into a rigid wheel requires a precise machine. Currently, Porsche is in possession of the world's largest radial braiding machine with a diameter of approximately 9 meters.

Porsche's advanced and unprecedented carbon wheel is composed two components. The wheel's carbon-fiber fabric center was assembled using more than 200 individual components. It's second component, the rim base, was made from 18 kilometers, or eight square meters, of braided carbon-fiber compound.

Porsche Uses the World's Largest Radial Braiding Machine to Create Carbon Fiber Wheels

[Image Source: Porsche]

The German automobile manufacturer premiered this complex carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) technology as they have always been "fascinated" by the wheel. According to Porsche, they have (almost) reinvented the wheel by producing it using the advanced manufacturing technique.

Advantages of using braided carbon wheels

So, what makes this braided carbon wheel unique from traditional alloy wheels? For a starter, the carbon wheels weigh approximately 8.5 kg less than standard wheels making them 20% lighter. By braiding or weaving the carbon-fiber compound, the produced wheel acquires a denser and more compact structure. This results in a 20% increase in overall wheel strength. The combined weight reduction and stronger structure provide ultimate driving motion and satisfaction.

"With a reduced unsprung weight, the tires trail the surface of the road better and are perfectly optimised for absorbing longitudinal and lateral forces. Lower rotating masses mean more spontaneity both in acceleration and braking".

Carbon wheels by Porsche

[Image Source: Porsche]

After assembling the wheel's two components, it is further processed by impregnating it with resin then pre-hardened at high pressure and temperatures. Subsequently, the hardening procedure is followed by a long period of cooling process.

To protect and finish off the entire wheel, a coating of clear lacquer is applied after the central lock has been inserted. The method of braiding the 18 kilometers carbon fiber material also produces less waste as the manufacturing process is entirely efficiently.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive

[Image Source: Porsche]

The advanced carbon wheels will become an option for the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series from the start of 2018. The sports car has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 330 km/h. It has a CO2 emission rate of 212 g/km as well as a combined fuel consumption of 9.1 liters per 100 km.

Porsche Uses the World's Largest Radial Braiding Machine to Create Carbon Fiber Wheels

[Image Source: Porsche]

Only 500 of the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series will be manufactured globally and the set of carbon wheels surely is the cherry on top of the cake. Equipping this supercar with a set of the braided wheels will cost 15,232 Euros or around $18,000, which is pretty much the price tag of an economy car.

Featured Image Source: Porsche

Via Porsche

SEE ALSO: Porsche's New 700 Horsepower GT2 RS Is the Most Powerful 911 Ever

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