Innovation: BMW teams up with Boeing to research carbon fiber (to be used in BMW i3 and BMW i8)

12 Dec, 2012



BMW and Boeing announced today that they signed a collaboration agreement to participate in joint research on carbon fiber materials. They will also share knowledge about manufacturing and recycling of carbon fiber. It’s the first time in the history of either company that such a collaboration is set up, the companies say.

Boeing and BMW are both pioneering the use of carbon fiber in their products. Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is made up of 50 percent carbon fiber material and BMW will introduce two vehicles with passenger compartments made of carbon fiber in 2013. Recycling composite material at point of use and the end of product life is critical to both companies.

“Boeing for us is a suitable partner for collaboration in the field of carbon fiber,” said BMW AG for Development Board Member Herbert Diess. “Boeing has many years of extensive experience using carbon fiber in the field of aviation, while the BMW Group has earned a significant competitive advantage through its use of special manufacturing methods for series production of carbon fiber parts. Through this cooperation, we can merge know-how between our industries in the field of sustainable production solutions.”

As part of the collaboration agreement, Boeing and the BMW Group will also share carbon fiber manufacturing process simulations and ideas for manufacturing automation.

BMW i3, BMW i8

BMW opened a plant in Moses Lake, Washington (US) in 2011 that will provide carbon fiber parts for the 2013 i3 and i8 models. Both new models will be assembled in Leipzig, Germany.

The BMW i3 recently made its video debut:

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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