ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components and Maxion Wheels have established a cooperation agreement to develop and market new ultra-lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels for the premium vehicle OEM market.
ThyssenKrupp, a global automotive components supplier that specializes in carbon fiber applications and lightweight materials, will merge its expertise with Maxion Wheels, one of the world’s largest wheel manufacturers. The two companies say they will offer customers exceptional performance benefits at an attractive price point.
Maxion will bring its innovative liquid-forged aluminum discs to the cooperation. The discs offer comparable material properties to traditionally forged wheels at lower cost and with the full design flexibility of casted wheels. The combined technologies could generate a weight savings of up to 40 percent when compared to high-performance forged aluminum wheel, while at the same time offer high-value styling, the company says. The ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components – Maxion Wheels team will work with OEMs to develop custom solutions to meet their specific needs.
“With carbon fiber-aluminum hybrid wheels we offer a unique option to our customers in the luxury and sports car segment to differentiate themselves through technology and design. The cooperation agreement with Maxion Wheels marks an important milestone in the development of our carbon fiber wheel technology. It shows the technological maturity we have reached and combines our innovations with the leading player in the wheel industry. Commercialization is the logical next step,” said Dr. Jens Werner, managing director at ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components.
Based on the developments of ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components in carbon fiber hybrid wheels, with its unique braiding technology, the partners have built and extensively tested prototypes for use on luxury cars and SUVs. Testing took place at certified Maxion Wheels test labs. In addition, the ThyssenKrupp – Maxion Wheels team is working with the Volkswagen Group to test prototypes on a vehicle. Public road tests have shown improved performance, e.g. superior damping which leads to less vibration and road noise, the two companies reported.
“The aluminum/carbon fiber hybrid wheels we develop through our cooperation with ThyssenKrupp will fill an important niche in the ultra-lightweight vehicle market,” said Kai Kronenberg, vice president of business development and global innovation at Maxion Wheels. “It will benefit our customers by expanding our already extensive range of products and capabilities, while enhancing our leadership position in the industry.”