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Commercialization of a full carbon wheel manufactured with an automated high-volume process for the automotive market (CARIM)
Start date: 01 Jan 2016, End date: 31 Dec 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of CARIM is the final development, homologation and commercialization of a full carbon automotive wheel manufactured in an automated, high-volume production process. Within the 2-year project the TRL level, currently 6+, will be raised to 8+ or 9.Developments in automated CFRP production technology will generate a wheel that is 30-50% lighter than state-of-the-art Al-wheels, with the extra advantage of excellent mechanical performance. The manufacture of the wheels in an automated preforming and HP-RTM process will ensure short cycle times (max. 10 min/component) and lower costs (1634€/wheel in first year of production and 1164€ in 2020) that will enable scale-up to series production and make the CARIM wheels competitive against current casted and forged Al-wheels and other emerging plastic wheel concepts. A testing and validation phase for the demonstrators covers a comprehensive product homologation to meet TUV regulations and the requirements of OEMs and material suppliers.The market entry of the product is clearly detailed in the proposal’s business plan which predicts a commercially-available product within one year after the project ends. The strategy for implementing the carbon wheel on the market is a top-down approach starting with a low production volume for high class cars and a steady rise in carbon wheel production. The five-year goal is a production capability - only at RiBa - of 52.000 wheels per year by 2020. The technology also has the potential for transfer into higher-volume car segments in luxury/medium-class vehicles, as well as to helicopter and aviation applications.The industry-driven consortium is supported by strong partners integrated in an Industrial Exploitation Board (Bentley, Huntsman) providing technical and economic consulting and know-how. The project results will be systematically disseminated and exploited to maximize visibility, industrial take-up and the transfer of the developments to new markets.
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