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11/22/2011

First Production-Ready Thermoplastic Wheel

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At the recent Fakuma show in Germany, BASF AG showed off what it says is the first all-plastic car wheel that’s ready for highvolume production.

At the recent Fakuma show in Germany, BASF AG showed off what it says is the first all-plastic car wheel that’s ready for highvolume production. Injection molded of BASF’s Ultramid Structure long-glass nylon compound, it weighs 13.2 lb, over 30% lighter than a standard aluminum wheel. It consists of two parts—the structural component and a wheel cover. Thermoset composite wheels are already used in racing and for short runs, but they are much more complex and expensive to manufacture and unsuitable for high-volume production, BASF says. The thermoplastic wheel also appeared on the “smart forvision” concept car at the recent International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany.

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