Hankuk Carbon Co Ltd, a manufacturer of advanced composite materials, has formed a strategic joint-partnership with Dymag, a manufacturer of carbon composite wheels, to enable the mass production of high-performance carbon composite wheels for the world’s leading automotive OEMs.
The collaboration, announced at JEC World in Paris, will apply Hankuk Carbon’s expertise in advanced materials and industrialization, leveraging Dymag’s expertise in manufacturing lightweight carbon composite wheels for the high-performance and luxury vehicle markets. This combination of resources and technical expertise will accelerate time-to-market. Enabling economies of scale in the manufacturing of series production carbon composite wheels, the partnership will focus on a scalable and localized approach.
Hankuk Carbon has been producing composite materials, including carbon fiber textiles and prepregs, since 1984. The business has grown into an international provider of composite material solutions, with plants in South Korea and Vietnam and global offices in China, the UK and Germany. The company provides specialist material solutions for many composite applications, including Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) storage tanks for marine bulk carriers and composite material for EV battery cases as well as high-quality prepregs for aerospace, marine and automotive markets.
Dymag was the first to commercialise carbon hybrid composite automotive wheels in 2004. Its wheels feature a carbon fiber rim with a forged aluminum or magnesium centerpiece. The company is also the market leader in the carbon composite wheel aftermarket, with more ethan 15 leading brands using its technology.
Together, the two companies will work to scale-up mass production of Dymag’s BX-F carbon composite wheel. This technology brings multiple advantages for automotive OEMs across all sectors, from luxury to high-performance, ICE to BEV, offering weight savings in excess of 50% over a traditional cast alloy wheel, but with far greater strength and durability.
Step change benefits include improvements in vehicle range and Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH): two huge advantages that can be applied to all vehicles, but in particular the new breed of luxury EVs, in which every gram impacts performance and range, and where the ICE is no longer masking unwanted noises.
In addition to reducing unsprung mass significantly, and a reduced moment of inertia, Hankuk’s carbon composite materials will also bring benefits to ride and handling. With less energy required to accelerate and brake the wheel itself, it is easier to control the rotating mass, in turn making it easier to find an optimum compromise between ride and handling in suspension tuning.
The application of carbon composite wheels further benefits a reduced gyroscopic force thanks to the lightness of the rim itself, meaning less steering effort is required.
Dymag wheels are available in sizes of up to 23-inches—rated to 1000kg —with even larger sizes to follow.