Vision Composite Products Selects IDI's Ultrium™ Carbon Fiber Composites For Their High Performance Carbon Fiber Forged Wheels
In the world of high-performance automotive wheels, lightweight and strong, yet aesthetic and unique designs are the future. Vision Composite Products, the leading developer and manufacturer of off-road, racing, and after-market automotive wheels, has selected IDI Composites International’s Ultrium™ U660 for their innovative Carbon Fiber Forged wheels.
Seeking a better material solution than the typical cast and forged aluminum alloy used for performance wheels, Vision launched research into composite wheels and ultimately partnered with IDI Composites International and the 3i Technology Center, to develop their Carbon Fiber Forged wheels using Ultrium™ carbon fiber composites. The resulting solution enables high volume production at costs competitive with forged aluminum wheels. The approach combines IDI Composites International’s discontinuous Ultrium™ U660 Carbon Fiber Composite and A&P Technology’s continuous Netshape® preforms in a carbon fiber forged molding process.
"Ultrium™ is the ideal material for Vision’s new Carbon Fiber Forged wheels," states Kevin Cahill, Director of Composite Technology for IDI Composites. "Ultrium™ is extremely lightweight and durable, with a beautiful appearance that has the ability to withstand extreme loads experienced on high performance vehicles. This material ensures that these wheels will not only perform well, but the moldability of thermoset composites allows for cost optimized and innovative design options."
The Carbon Fiber Forged wheels were tested through a grueling, continuous 48-hour, 1,415-mile road test in a 5.0 Coyote Mustang at speeds up to 100 mph. The test ended due to a broken rear half shaft axle while the Vision Carbon Fiber Forged wheels performed perfectly with no damage. The wheels have up to 40% less weight than cast aluminum, and exceeded all regulatory and industry requirements.
"Our 3i Composites Technology Center is truly an asset that helps make projects like these possible." says Tom Flood, Vice President and General Manager of IDI Composites International. “The 3i Technology Center's testing capabilities and dedicated team of composite chemists and engineers allows IDI to drive innovation and push the performance boundaries of composites beyond the value limitations of conventional materials."
The resulting Carbon Fiber Forged wheels are a testament to the commitment of IDI Composites International and Vision Composite Products to advance use of composite materials in new and exciting applications.