It's a shame that not all automakers are currently using carbonfiber. Companies like Lamborghini are to be applauded for investing in the future of carbonfiber technologies. Case in point, Lamborghini has officially unveiled the Automobili Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) with an event held at the University of Washington.
The company teamed up with leaders in aerospace and composite material development, including the University of Washington and aerospace company Boeing.
Mainstream carbon-fiber use for most automakers is still several years away; hence, we're thankful that firms are working to help turn this trend around. It has been reported that several Japanese automakers invested in a new low-cost carbon-fiber material for use in mass-produced cars.
The ACSL received a significant financial contribution from Lamborghini for the university long-time research in the aerospace industry. The end goal of course is to utilize the studies conducted through the ACSL to develop future vehicles with lighter, stronger and more versatile materials.
For instance, the lab will provide the setting for testing and characterization, manufacturing and machining of carbon-fiber materials. The truth is ACSL has already contributed much to Lamborghini's carbonfiber production process.
Since 2001, Lamborghini has been collaborating with ACSL head Professor Paolo Feraboli on research projects. For those who are not familiar with the benefits of carbon-fiber, its value stems from the fact that the materialdensity is far lower than that of steel.
When steel is substituted with carbon-fiber, weight is reduced and this enhances the performance of the vehicle by increasing the power-to-weight ratio. It also improves fuel economy by reducing the overall mass. Since carbon-fiber is stiffer than other materials, it has better handling characteristics. Carbon-fiber also provides greater manufacturing versatility, decreasing the time it takes to make parts and simplifying the structure of the components.