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Potential for substantial weight saving and greater engine efficiency.

Stephen Moore

January 27, 2017

2 Min Read
Lamborghini developing composite conrods for next-generation Aventador

In its efforts to further lightweight its supercars, Lamborghini’s Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) is working with Japanese composites processor Uchida to develop carbon fiber composite connecting rods (conrods) for its famed V12 engine used in the Aventador model. Prototype components cured using vinyl ester as the matrix resin weigh in at 203.5 g versus 457.75 g for conventional steel conrods. If adopted, Lamborghini would achieve a significant weight saving of more than 3 kg.

Carbon fiber composite conrods could potentially reduce the weight of a Lamborghini supercar by more than 3 kg.

The new conrods are cured in an autoclave in a 10-minute cycle, and incorporate metal rings and other metal components that are inserted post-process and held in place with highly heat resistant adhesive. Besides weight savings, the new conrods also contribute to enhanced rotational efficiency according to Uchida.

In June of last year, Lamborghini opened a carbon fiber research facility in Seattle. The Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) is responsible for unlocking new potential in carbon fiber. The official grand opening of the new ACSL also marked the 30th anniversary of Lamborghini's use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer in its vehicles.

The automotive supply chain has a new rendezvous. UBM America’s newest design and manufacturing trade show and conference debuts in Cleveland, OH, on March 29 and 30, 2017. On one show floor, PLASTEC Cleveland, part of Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland, showcases five zones—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Hundreds of suppliers and numerous conference sessions offer sourcing and educational opportunities targeted to the automotive and other key industry sectors. Go to the PLASTEC Cleveland website to learn more and to register to attend.

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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