Audi has announced today that they will use glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) springs.
The new springs will be available in an upper mid-size model before the end of the year. According to Audi, the new springs are thicker and larger than the conventional steel ones, but they are about 40 percent lighter.
A conventional steel spring has 2.7 kilograms, while the new GFRP spring has 1.6 kilograms. Even thought this might not sound like much, the car’s weight will go down by approximately 4.4 kilograms.
"The core of the springs consists of long glass fibers twisted together and impregnated with epoxy resin. A machine wraps additional fibers around this core — which is only a few millimeters in diameter — at alternating angles of plus and minus 45 degrees to the longitudinal axis", is said in the official statement.
Besides being lightweight, the new GFRP springs are resilient as they will not corrode and are impervious to chemicals such as wheel cleaners.
“The GFRP springs save weight at a crucial location in the chassis system. We are therefore making driving more precise and enhancing vibrational comfort", said Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Technical Development boss.Source: Audi