BMW has been at the forefront of volume automakers looking to invest in carbon fiber technology. The latest development in the German automaker’s efforts is in the form of a joint venture with aircraft giant Boeing. According to a joint press release, the two companies will collaborate on further development of the lightweight material, including production methods and carbon fiber recycling.
The partnership is a fitting one, as Boeing and BMW have both been pushing carbon fiber development in their respective industries. BMW has invested in carbon fiber producer SGL Group, and created the i3 and i8 concepts with heavy use of the material. Meanwhile, Boeing has developed the 787 Dreamliner (seen above), which is 50 percent carbon fiber.
The recycling of these materials, including recycling excess byproduct as well as the product at the end of its use, is essential. According to the press release below, the two companies will together look for ways to reclaim the material at the end of its product life.
Seattle, WA is the corporate home for Boeing, and is a little over 2.5 hours from BMW’s Moses Lake facility. Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire helped BMW secure the location for that facility, and and played a roll in putting together this joint venture. “This exciting partnership between two global players was an industry win for our state,” said Gregoire, “this will help Washington further develop our capabilities and leadership position in the game-changing technology of carbon fiber.”
This development will hopefully yield less expensive production methods, and the proliferation of carbon fiber material in both the aeronautical and automotive industries. Check out more on this development in the press release below.