Automobili Lamborghini announces participation in Newspec. Objective to streamline carbon fiber production by 2017
Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, May 15, 2014 – As an automotive leader in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) technology, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. has always pushed the envelope in terms of refining the production and application of composites materials. In November 2013, Lamborghini and 12 global companies launched the Newspec Project. Newspec (New cost-effective and Sustainable PolyEthylene based Carbon fiber for volume market applications) aims at the production of advanced carbon fiber through very promising, low-cost and sustainable precursors, such as polyethylene, both derived from bio-ethanol and recycled PE with relevant benefits to environmental and economic sustainability. The goal is to complete the project by 2017.
Lamborghini, which has two CFRP development centers – the Advanced Composite Research Center (ACRC) at the company’s headquarters and the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) in Seattle - enriches the partnership by providing know-how and over 30 years’ experience in carbon fiber development; specific carbon composite prototypes will be built and tested by Lamborghini during the lifetime of the project, to ensure the functionality of the new polyethylene (virgin and recycled) derived fibers.
Lamborghini has specific expertise in developing alternatives to Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) that has an expensive and environmentally impactful transformation process to become carbon fiber. New materials promise, by keeping the same mechanical properties, to be more environmentally friendly and less expensive allowing carbon fiber material to be used on large scale applications.
“Lamborghini is dedicated to strong R&D investment and we feel our contributions to Newspec will result in benefits for our partners, the industry and super sports car customers,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO, Automobili Lamborghini.
“Lamborghini is happy to join Newspec and intends to share its facilities and research in order to increase the performance and efficiency of our cars while decreasing the impact of CFRP production on a larger scale,” said Maurizio Reggiani, Board Member, Research and Development and Squadra Corse, Automobili Lamborghini.
The project also supports and nourishes the comprehensive CFRP initiatives within the Volkswagen Group. During JEC Americas’ Automotive Day, Luciano De Oto, Head of the Advanced Composite Research Center (ACRC) at Lamborghini, presented the Newspec Project, with special focus on the commitment that the Company has in transferring aerospace expertise to the automotive industry. The audience consisted of top managers in the automotive industry.