Audi has announced it will be introducing new ‘lightweight suspension springs’ made of fibreglass-reinforced polymer (GFRP) into an upper mid-size model before the end of the year.
The newly-designed springs are the result of a collaboration between Audi and an Italian supplier. The innovative design sees a weight saving of 40 per cent over regular steel springs.
The core of the spring is made up of long glass fibres twisted together and impregnated with epoxy resin, with additional fibres then wrapped around the core at different angles. The blanks are then cured at 100 degrees Celsius.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board of management for technical development at Audi AG, said:
“The GFRP springs save weight at a crucial location in the chassis system. We are therefore making driving more precise and enhancing vibrational comfort.”
The springs can be specifically tuned to deal with their respective task, easily absorbing stresses and impacts like any conventional steel spring would. They are also chemical and rust resistant.