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The 22-inch carbon wheel is the largest ever, yet saves 6 kg in weight compared with aluminum alloy.

Stephen Moore

September 16, 2021

1 Min Read
Bucci Composites wheel on Bentley
Image: Bucci Composites

Rolling in from Italy’s Carbon Valley in the Emilia Romagna region, high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP-RTM) has been deployed to fabricate carbon-fiber composite wheels for the 2021 Bentley Bentayga luxury SUV, which retails for approximately $177,000 in the United States.

Bucci Composites is behind the 22-inch carbon wheel customized for the prestigious British car manufacturer, the largest ever made of such a composite. In addition to an innovative design and enhanced performance, the material delivers a weight saving of 6 kg per wheel versus aluminum alloy, which is not insignificant.

high-pressure resin transfer molding system

The investment in high-pressure resin transfer molding equipment to produce carbon-fiber composite wheels for Bentley will allow Bucci Composites to continue developing wheels for other automakers. 

All the benefits of using the ultralight carbon-fiber wheel are directly linked to the reduced weight of the wheel: A lighter component design means less rotational inertia, which translates into greater acceleration, shorter braking distance, and better vehicle handling. Furthermore, less un-sprung mass means improved grip between the tire and road, thus ensuring excellent road-holding characteristics.

A further key benefit of the Bucci Composites wheel is the hub-wheel coupling system, which allows the wheel to be fixed to the hub in the traditional way, eliminating the risk of wheel bolt torque loss. This assembly system provides all the advantages of a conventional wheel fixation system but with a significant weight reduction.

Bucci Composites' investment in HP-RTM for this project will enable the company to continue developing new carbon-fiber wheel models for the automotive sector.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and is a proud dachshund owner.

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