Automobili Lamborghini is extending its expertise in the field of carbon fiber composite materials – in the area of research and production in particular – into the medical world by entering into a collaboration project with the Houston Methodist Research Institute.
Lamborghini and the Houston Methodist Research Institute is now pursuing a research project into the biocompatibility of these lightweight composite materials when used to create prosthetic implants as well as subcutaneous devices, as employed in the medical industry. The new research project should help Lamborghini discover new materials that aren’t only lighter than the existing composites in the medical field, but are also better tolerated by the human body. Likewise, these new materials should also be more resistant and more durable than existing composites.
The agreement for the research project was inked between Mauro Ferrari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. Ferrari’s primary fields of specialty are nanotechnology research and applied bioengineering in medicine. Lamborghini, meanwhile, boasts of being one of the leaders in research and production of carbon fiber composite materials.
Through its newly opened research center – the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) -- in Seattle, Washington, Lamborghini, has been engaged in research and production of composite materials for use in several fields, including automotive and biomedical. In fact, ACSL was hugely credited for developing Lamborghini’s proprietary Forged Composite carbon fiber process, which has made it easier to transform composite materials into complicated shapes. This Forged Composite carbon fiber material made its debut on the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. In addition, this Forged Composite carbon fiber material was responsible for making the Lamborghini Huracán Performante around 90 pounds (41 kilograms) lighter over the standard model.
Lamborghini is not entirely new in using carbon fiber as material on its production vehicles. In fact, the Countach Quattrovalvole – which existed more than three decades ago -- makes use of carbon fiber.
The Italian supercar maker is currently working on internal engine components made from carbon fiber materials. These parts could be stronger and lighter than the metal components usually employed in engines. Likewise, Lamborghini is collaborating with Mitsubishi Rayon Co. to create a new method that would allow the automation of large-scale production of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP).
Moreover, Lamborghini is also engaged in other research projects regarding composite materials with the Occupational Medicine Unit of Bologna University Hospital Authority St. Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic; the Neurosurgery of IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences of Bologna and the Neurosurgery Humanitas University Rozzano-Milano. The carmaker also collaborates with the CNR Institute of Neuroscience and Humanitas and IRCSS Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute of Bologna.