Wednesday May 5, 2021

Plastic rims? Not really a reality yet!

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Plastic rims Plastic rims Lightweight rims Plastic rims? Not really a reality yet!

While we rims off Aluminium, Carbon or magnesium one knows about approved rims Acrylic still difficult. The first ideas for this came up in 2010. At that time it was said: “Could it be that aluminum or steel rims will soon no longer be the standard, but rims made of plastic, which may even be lighter and more stable? ”Researchers at the Frauenhofer Institute had built and tested a prototype of such a rim back then.

For more stability: plastic reinforced with glass fibers

Plastic rims PVC rims Tuning rims made of plastic? Not really a reality yet!

The rim itself consisted of so-called SMC material, what kind of "Sheet Molding Compund" stands. This is a plastic whose base is a duromer matrix and which is reinforced with long glass fibers. For thermosets, which are also called Thermosetting plastics are referred to, it concerns plastics, their deformation can not be more is possible as soon as they hardened are. This material is already in the Automotive engineering used, for example, for the paneling of doors, tailgates or bonnets. The fact that the material is used for safety-relevant parts such as rims was new at the time.

What are the benefits of using SMC?

One of the greatest advantages is that Weight saving: According to the researchers at the time, the rims made of SMC were roughly 20-30 percent lighter than the conventional rims Metal. The exact savings naturally also depend on the Type of manufacture and the Geometrie from. Furthermore, one can clearly use one better weight-related strength calculate. Weight related strength is that relationship between weight and stability. Tip: Are you planning a new wheel set? Our Tire calculator says if it fits!

Can a plastic rim be stable enough?

Plastic rims PVC rims Tuning defective Plastic rims? Not really a reality yet!

According to the Fraunhofer Institute, the behavior of axles and wheels was tested on its own test stands Vibrating stretchesWherein Driving straight ahead and at Drive backwards examined. It was also investigated how long the corresponding components can withstand these loads. Overall was 3 years long researched and at that time you could definitely from positive results speak. The rims made of fiber-reinforced plastic were extremely tolerant of damage and the wheels made of aluminum clearly superior - vorausgesetzt, you are corrector processed. Also in terms of the sensitivity across from Scratches and Damage (for example through curbs) the prototypes at that time were made entirely of plastic, the conventional rims not inferior. However, at that time they wanted to investigate how it was about ecological aspect was ordered.

Will rims be black in the future?

A special feature of the material is the color: it is can not be about a metallic sheen, but about one black marbled Hue. For many this may take some getting used to - but in principle it is also possible to paint the material. However, this increases the Susceptibility to scratches and other visual defects.

When will such rims be available?

It has been unclear for years when we can expect rims made from SMC. This also applies to the price. However, there is a press release according to which the rims are relative economical be, provided in middle to higher quantities could be produced. Research would like to work with industry to produce a ready-to-use wheel based on the already finished prototype. Local continuous fiber reinforcement is planned for the wheel.

2011: Thermoplastic plastic

In 2011 at the IAA, the Smart and BASF presents: rims suitable for mass production that are made from thermoplastic plastic exist on the concept vehicle Smart forvision. According to BASF, that rim should 30 percent lighter than a conventional aluminum rim and around the six kilograms to weigh. The exact name of the material is "Ultramid Structure", A new one Special polyamide of BASF. The rim is double-shell built up. So there is one Design coverthat are above the actual carrier part is located on the wheel. The cover is also made of the new material. The two parts practice one supporting function off and Metal inserts and screws ensure both Coupling as well as power transmission. The color of the design panel is variable - the colors were at the trade fair back then White and Copper to see. According to BASF, rims made of thermoset material are already in use in racing and in some small series. However, those rims are compared to thermoplastic rims (Injection molding) a lot more complex to manufacture, which unnecessarily drives up costs and rims made of thermoset material not for large series would be suitable.

Smart forvision plastic rims Plastic rims? Not really a reality yet!

A special plastic with long fibers

Ultramid Structure was presented for the first time in Düsseldorf at the K 2010 plastics fair. Since long fibers are used, the load capacity is correspondingly high. This means that Ultramid Structure can even Replace metalwhere the energy consumption is particularly high. This is for example at Seat structures, Crash absorbers, Engine mounts and Battery trays the case.

2017: Development of a 3 kilogram rim

In 2017, the TU Chemnitz, which cooperated with the Frauenhofer Institute, succeeded in developing a high-performance bike that only three kilograms was. The specialty of the scientists of the MERGE research initiative is the development of new technologies that can be used in road traffic.

What is the high-performance bike made of?

Here came a so called Sandwich design used to ensure optimal use of the material-dependent advantages. This also makes the extremely light weight compared to a normal steel rim (6,8 kg) possible.

Pollutant emissions are reduced

The Kern the wheel disc consists of Aluminum foam and the Top layers made of fiber-plastic composites. Due to the lower weight that results from it, there is a reduced Pollutant emissions.

Increased driving comfort

Of course, the lower weight is useless if the driving comfort suffers. The scientists are also aware of this, but they can give the all-clear here: That Absorbency of the new foams is extremely high, which for example when cornering for one higher driving comfort should care.

Big potential

The researchers at the TU Chemnitz look confidently into the future and assume that the industry will rely on the new technology in the future, which will make the concepts of alternative energies (for example electric or hydrogen drive) could also be improved.

When are such rims available?

At the current time are us no approved Rims known to be completely out Acrylic consist. Neither in series production by one of the major vehicle manufacturers nor by a third party. Although there was some time ago from the manufacturer Lexani and Forgiato Wheels (D'Vinci Forgiato Radurra) various Polycarbonate rim For over 5.000 dollars "per rim", various problems and the low demand due to the extremely high prices, however, the manufacturers have prompted production no further expansion. In addition, was with these rims only the rim star replaced by polycarbonate and can not be the complete rim.

Plastic rims Plastic rims Lightweight rims Plastic rims? Not really a reality yet!

We hope that you have received our information report on the topic / term Plastic rims (Further designations / keywords are: plastic rims, plastic rims, plastic rims, lightweight rims, lightweight rims, polyvinyl chloride rims, PVC rims, fiberglass rims, fiberglass rims, SMC rims, sheet molding compound wheels, sandwich rims, sandwich rims, all-plastic rims, all-plastic rims, Ultramid Structure rims) from the Autotuning category. Our goal is to have the largest German-speaking tuning lexicon (Tuning Wikipedia) and to explain tuning technical terms from A to Z easily and understandably. We are therefore expanding this lexicon almost daily and you can see how far we have already come HERE see. And soon the next one will be Tuning scene concept illuminated by us. There's a theme that can not be can be found in our Wikipedia? Then send us an email at and gives us the term. We will write a suitable article as soon as possible. PS. By the way, you will be informed about new topics if you have ours Feed subscriber.

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a comment

  1. The old tires are already being brought out of the EU because the incineration no longer complies with the exhaust gas guidelines. The metal rims have paid off the costs of disposal a little. If the new rims are made of plastic, the disposal question will flare up again. It only makes everything more expensive.

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