Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi AG and Voith GmbH are to work together to promote industrialisation of fibre-reinforced materials, particularly through developing a highly automated process chain for high-volume automotive production for the German car maker.
Audi and Voith will focus on highly automated production of fibre-reinforced materials for use in automotive projects, to use the high potential of this innovative material to benefit lightweight construction and efficiency, said a 16 Feb announcement from the two companies.
Emphasis will be on innovative high-tech and environmentally-compatible fibre composite materials, in addition to industrialisation and process engineering for conventional fibre-reinforced polymers, the companies said.
"Fibre-reinforced polymers offer weight and strength advantages, which we have already put to use in the Audi R8 and the Audi RS 3, for instance. We want to use these advantages for high-volume production as well, and therefore the focus of our partnership with Voith is on specific car projects," said Rupert Stadler, Audi chairman.
Audi and Voith are "concentrating on the manufacturing and recyclability of fibre-reinforced materials in the interest of a sustainable material cycle," added Stadler, noting that corporate responsibility means facing the challenge of harmonising economic and environmental interests.
Industrial group Voith has for several years been intensively involved in use of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer in industrial plant design - in lightweight construction components in paper machines or in drive engineering.
In the partnership with Audi it will be able to apply its technological know-how to the automotive sector as well. Voith sees use of fibre-composite materials in industrial production as a key strategic competence. "Given the ever-greater requirements for efficiency, coupled with the need to protect the environment and conserve resources, we are certain that this competence will be demanded by more and more markets in the future," said Dr Hubert Lienhard, Voith ceo.