Kevlar composite is environmentally friendly
Composite materials: How CFRP recycling works
How BMW deals with carbon fiber reinforced plastic
BMW is also still too expensive carbon for its volume models. Nevertheless, the electric vehicles have already gone into series production: In the BMW i3, among other things, the entire passenger cell is made of CFRP, and in the iNext announced for 2021, the carbon fiber composite material is to be used, reveals company spokesman Wieland Brúch: "We want to Reach will once again advance into new dimensions and CFRP will play an important role in this. "
Carbon fiber reinforced plastic allows slimmer and, above all, lighter constructions than metal and reduces the power requirement for the drive due to the lower vehicle weight. "If we use CFRP, we can achieve the same electric range with a smaller battery, and that pays off because the battery is the most expensive part in an electric vehicle," explains Brúch.
BMW also already has answers to the recycling question. For example, production residues of the composite material go straight back into production. "The most prominent example is the roof of the BMW i3. It consists entirely of carbon fiber scrap, ie material that has not yet come into contact with resin," reports Brúch. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic thus offers a use beyond its original purpose.
According to the AVK report, dry carbon fibers and so-called prepregs impregnated with resin but not yet cured currently represent 'by far the largest share' of waste streams. However, the segment with finished composites is growing rapidly - from rejects to products at the end their lifespan. "Our main topic here is plastic injection molding with recycled material," says Brúch. The center console of the current Mini is already made with granulate from shredded CFRP parts.
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