Maxion Wheels, ThyssenKrupp join forces to develop ‘hybrid’ wheels
ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components and Maxion Wheels have established a cooperation agreement to develop and market ultra-lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre hybrid wheels for the premium vehicle OEM market. The two companies state that the products resulting from their collaboration will “will offer customers exceptional performance benefits at an attractive price point.”
According to Maxion Wheels, the combination of the two technologies could generate a weight savings of up to 40 per cent when to high performance forged aluminium wheels, and at the same time offer “high value” styling. The ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components – Maxion Wheels team will work with OEMs to develop custom solutions to meet their specific needs.
“With carbon fibre-aluminium hybrid wheels we offer a unique option to our customers in the luxury and sports car segment to differentiate themselves through technology and design,” says Dr. Jens Werner, managing director at ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components. “The cooperation agreement with Maxion Wheels marks an important milestone in the development of our carbon fibre wheel technology. It shows the technological maturity we have reached and combines our innovations with the leading player in the wheel industry. Commercialisation is the logical next step.”
Based on the developments of ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components in carbon fibre hybrid wheels, with its unique braiding technology, the partners have built and extensively tested prototypes for use on luxury cars and SUVs. Testing took place at certified Maxion Wheels test labs. In addition, the ThyssenKrupp – Maxion Wheels team is working with the Volkswagen Group to test prototypes on a vehicle. Maxion reports that public road tests have shown improved performance, such as superior damping which leads to less vibration and road noise.
Going forward, Maxion Wheels and ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components say they will continue to enhance the value proposition of the lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre hybrid wheels. Maxion will bring its liquid-forged aluminium discs to the cooperation; these are said to offer comparable material properties as traditionally forged wheels at a lower cost and with the full design flexibility of casted wheels.
“The aluminium/carbon fibre hybrid wheels we develop through our cooperation with ThyssenKrupp will fill an important niche in the ultra-lightweight vehicle market,” shares Kai Kronenberg, vice-president of business development and global innovation at Maxion Wheels. “It will benefit our customers by expanding our already extensive range of products and capabilities, while enhancing our leadership position in the industry.”
The ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components – Maxion Wheels cooperation will include the development and commercialisation of the ultra-lightweight aluminium/carbon fibre hybrid wheels. A joint sales initiative and support team will engage the market to “bring new capabilities and wheels that will benefit customers far into the future.”