Carbon Fiber Rims - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Carbon Fiber Rims

So when are we getting some carbon fiber wheels for the Elise/Exige? I know there have been talks about it but I have not seen much discussion lately. I see the new Ford Mustang will have black painted carbon fiber wheels. I think they justified painting them to protect them, but I am not sure why they could not have just clear coated them.

Mustang Shelby GT350R Carbon Fiber Wheels

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 03:22 PM
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Its not realistic. Those mustang rims are $15,000. There are low thousands of lotus in the states. Math doesn't work out

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Its not realistic. Those mustang wheels are $15,000. There are low thousands of lotus in the states. Math doesn't work out
Did you ever find some LSS wheels?

"WTB: Black LSS Wheels"

If not, I promise to sell you mine when I get some Carbon Fiber wheels!

Those new Mustang wheels are still heavier than the rear LSS wheels, but they are a much bigger wheel.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 07:01 PM
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F1 cars uses CF for everything except wheels, it must be due to some good reasons, and cost is not one of them.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 07:29 PM
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F1 cars uses CF for everything except wheels, it must be due to some good reasons, and cost is not one of them.
Yup.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 07:43 PM
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Not every road-going vehicle manufacturer has shunned the lightest of the light . . . Koenigsegg has apparently figured out how to make carbon fiber wheels. I suspect they are out of my price range though.

Edit - ah, the Mustang article notes Koenigsegg. Looks like the Mustang wheels are solid while K's are hollow. Solid no doubt provides the ability to soak up bumps that would destroy lighter construction. As far as F1, I'm pretty sure the current rules require metallic wheels - that's why they aren't carbon.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 08:05 PM
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F1 cars uses CF for everything except wheels, it must be due to some good reasons, and cost is not one of them.
Specified by the rules, can only be made from aluminum magnesium alloy.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 08:43 PM
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From F1 2016 Technical Regulations
ARTICLE 12: WHEELS AND TYRES
12.3 Wheel material:
Wheels must be made from AZ70 or AZ80 magnesium alloys.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 09:05 PM
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re: CF Wheeks

I saw CF wheels on Indy cars at some point.... All of this high-tech got outlawed, just like Berillium brakes and engine parts/blocks.

I have a set of Dymag wheels. I adopted BMW wheels to Lotus.

18x10 is 13 lbs, so almost as light as small Lotus wheel. The steering feels very different with lighter CF wheel.

Dymags used magnesium centers and CF hoops. HRE bought the technology, but only sells 19" hoops/wheels.

The wheels referred to by OP are full CF.

I can vouch for the strength of the wheel. It is much stronger than racing aluminum wheels. PM me for an explanation, if curious...

Anton


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From F1 2016 Technical Regulations
ARTICLE 12: WHEELS AND TYRES
12.3 Wheel material:
Wheels must be made from AZ70 or AZ80 magnesium alloys.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 09:14 PM
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Edit - ah, the Mustang article notes Koenigsegg. Looks like the Mustang wheels are solid while K's are hollow.
The GT350 wheels are hollow CF with foam filler in the voids. They are quite a bit lighter than the F1 wheel I have and being Ford are probably specd to be able to climb kerbs for 10 years

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 05:10 AM
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There are loads of things I'd rather spend that $15k on instead of carbon fiber wheels. My car could have a complete refresh of all bolts and nuts and a nice supercharger for that money.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 07:01 AM
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I think once 3D printing tech matures just a bit more, you might see carbon fiber-esque wheels.

MarkForged has a printer capable of doing carbon reinforced parts they claim are stronger than 6061-T6. In my opinion, something like this is the only way you will ever see wheels for the elise/exige in carbon. The tooling and labor cost is just way too high especially considering the volume.

Light weight wheels are definitely the way to go, thats why we have the Monolites
post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 08:50 AM
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CF wheel

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Specified by the rules, can only be made from aluminum magnesium alloy.
Thanks for your illumination, Bernie must have cut a deal with OZ or similar as wheel supplier.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 09:00 AM
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Most people don't realize this (no matter how often i post it), but Carbon Fiber has the same mass density as Magnesium. A rim with the same wall thicknesses and dimensions will weigh exactly the same for either material. The only benefit of Carbon Fiber is when a wheel or part is designed to minimize wall thickness and take advantage of the CF tensile strength advantage over MG. It looks to me like the Ford wheel could be a Mag wheel and be the same weight. It's just marketing BS as usual. The Koenigsegg wheels are properly engineered CF wheels...hence the ludicrous price tag.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 09:38 AM
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I think once 3D printing tech matures just a bit more, you might see carbon fiber-esque wheels.



MarkForged has a printer capable of doing carbon reinforced parts they claim are stronger than 6061-T6. In my opinion, something like this is the only way you will ever see wheels for the elise/exige in carbon. The tooling and labor cost is just way too high especially considering the volume.



Light weight wheels are definitely the way to go, thats why we have the Monolites

6061-T6 is very soft when you compare it to proper exotic materials that CF needs to compete with. Plus, those extruded pieces very different strengths in different directions. The fibers act like rebar and only contribute in tension. The resin is what takes most of the compressive load, and the interlayer strength is even lower. In specific cases, it can be very appropriate but 9/10 times there are cheaper, stronger, and lighter options.


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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 09:43 AM
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And more about the lack of compressive strength - check out the hub on the mustang CF wheels. They used aluminum for the hub, so the CF avoids all the compression there from lug nuts. The upper spoke(s) contribute a lot and are in tension, and the tire spreads out a lot of forces, so that wheel is a very good example of making a material work based on its inherent strengths and weaknesses


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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 02:31 PM
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6061-T6 is very soft when you compare it to proper exotic materials that CF needs to compete with. Plus, those extruded pieces very different strengths in different directions. The fibers act like rebar and only contribute in tension. The resin is what takes most of the compressive load, and the interlayer strength is even lower. In specific cases, it can be very appropriate but 9/10 times there are cheaper, stronger, and lighter options.


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HRE chooses to make their forged wheels from 6061-T6, so if you could theoretically make something just as strong but lighter, I would say that would compete very well. I am not suggesting you can buy that $5,500 machine and print yourself out a set of wheels but I believe the possibility exists in the future to have CFR wheels made with additive manufacturing.


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Most people don't realize this (no matter how often i post it), but Carbon Fiber has the same mass density as Magnesium. A rim with the same wall thicknesses and dimensions will weigh exactly the same for either material. The only benefit of Carbon Fiber is when a wheel or part is designed to minimize wall thickness and take advantage of the CF tensile strength advantage over MG. It looks to me like the Ford wheel could be a Mag wheel and be the same weight. It's just marketing BS as usual. The Koenigsegg wheels are properly engineered CF wheels...hence the ludicrous price tag.
I respectfully disagree, I have not seen a magnesium wheel that can handle an OEM level durability test. That does not mean it isn't out there, I just haven't seen it. This wheel is not the lightest carbon fiber wheel that can possibly be made, its the lightest carbon fiber wheel that an OEM is willing to put a warranty on and sell it to your average joe. To me, this is a worth while innovation and I would market the hell out of it if I were Ford. My hat is off to them for trying something that no other major manufacture is doing right now.

-Joe
post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:20 PM
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There have been many OEM Magnesium wheels. Corvette ZO6 for example.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:49 PM
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There have been many OEM Magnesium wheels. Corvette ZO6 for example.
I believe you mean C5 (not Z06), and they weren't much lighter.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 07:33 PM
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There have been many OEM Magnesium wheels. Corvette ZO6 for example.
And lots of Alfa Romeo wheels (I've owned Alfas with magnesium wheels)
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