UK supercar manufacturer BAC has become the first vehicle in the world to develop a car which utilises graphene.
The car utilises panels made from graphene, a man-made material that is reportedly 200-times stronger than steel, but much lighter.
The Liverpool-based automotive manufacturer has partnered with Haydale Composite Solutions to create the rear wheel arches out of graphene. The finished car, the Mono, is the world’s only road legal single-seater supercar.
Graphene is made of carbon sheets that are one atom thick and is also a lot stronger and lighter than standard carbon fibre. In addition to its added strength, it can provide weight savings of around 20%, which means it also offers performance, cost and fuel economy advantages.
Graphene used in rear wheel arches of BAC Mono
The rear wheel arches were chosen to be used as a test for the material because of the complexity and size of the part and allowed BAC to thoroughly test and understand the manufacturing process.
BAC development director and co-founder, Neill Briggs commented: “BAC is uniquely placed in the automotive industry to be able to take innovative steps, and latest work with graphene is further proof of this.
“This development work is further proof of our ability to work with the very latest materials and innovators. At BAC we don’t wait for new technology to come to us, we actively seek it out and work with the very best in the industry to stay at the forefront of the automotive and motorsport industries.
“Making significant weight savings and improving body strength will allow us to offer improved performance to our customers.”
Ebby Shahidi, director of aerospace and defence, Haydale Composite Solutions, said the tests had shown some major increases in impact and thermal performance coupled with improved surface finish.
“It’s pleasing to see these attributes being demonstrated on such a high performance vehicle as the Mono,” he said.
“We look forward to collaborating further with BAC and delivering even higher performance materials and components to increase the performance of this exciting vehicle.”
BAC recently showed the graphene-enhanced Mono at the Science in the City festival in Manchester.
BAC also recently conducted a webinar with The Manufacturer and Autodesk on how the sports car maker uses PLM to manage product complexity. Check out the video here – registration required.