Hankuk Carbon Co, manufacturers of advanced composite materials, has formed a strategic joint-partnership with Dymag, world leaders in carbon composite wheels, to enable the mass production of carbon composite wheels for the world’s leading automotive OEMs.
The collaboration, announced today at JEC World in Paris, will apply Hankuk Carbon’s expertise in advanced materials and industrialisation, leveraging Dymag’s expertise in manufacturing lightweight carbon composite wheels for the high-performance and luxury vehicle markets. This combination of unparalleled resources and technical expertise will accelerate time-to-market. Enabling economies of scale in the manufacturing of series production carbon composite wheels, the partnership will focus on a uniquely scalable and localised approach.
Hankuk Carbon has been producing composite materials, including carbon fibre textiles and prepregs, since 1984. The business has grown into an international provider of composite
material solutions, with plants in South Korea and Vietnam and global offices in China, the UK and Germany. The company provides specialist material solutions for many composite applications, including Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) storage tanks for marine bulk carriers and Battery Electric Vehicles, as well as high-quality prepregs for aerospace, marine and automotive markets. Hankuk Carbon provides total technical support from supply of materials through to engineering and productionising effective composite solutions: Composites - All at Once.
Leading advanced wheel design since 1974, Hankuk’s latest partner holds unrivalled heritage in motorsport—Dymag was the first in the world to commercialise carbon hybrid composite automotive wheels in 2004. Its wheels feature a carbon fibre rim with a forged aluminium or magnesium centrepiece. The company is also the market leader in the carbon composite wheel aftermarket, with over 15 leading brands using its technology.
Together, the two companies will work to scale-up mass production of Dymag’s cutting-edge BX-F carbon composite wheel. This technology brings multiple advantages for automotive OEMs across all sectors, from luxury to high-performance, ICE to BEV, offering weight savings in excess of 50% over a traditional cast alloy wheel, but with far greater strength and durability.
Step change benefits include improvements in vehicle range and Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH): two huge advantages that can be applied to all vehicles, but in particular the new breed of luxury EVs, in which every gram impacts performance and range, and where the ICE is no longer masking unwanted noises.
In addition to dramatically reducing unsprung mass, and a reduced moment of inertia, Hankuk’s carbon composite materials will also bring benefits to ride and handling. With less energy required to accelerate and brake the wheel itself, it is easier to control the rotating mass, in turn making it easier to find an optimum compromise between ride and handling in suspension tuning.
The application of carbon composite wheels further benefits a reduced gyroscopic force thanks to the lightness of the rim itself, meaning less steering effort is required.
The wheels also bring aesthetic advantages for OEMs; a forged aluminium or magnesium centrepiece offering greater design flexibility than a solid carbon fibre wheel, while Hankuk’s material finish and Dymag’s unique designs are also proven and tested to OEM standards off-the-shelf.
As a result, the benefits of Hankuk’s composite material for Dymag’s wheels is applicable to traditional high-performance road cars, high-performance and luxury electric vehicles, and large SUVs and pickups, which are also becoming increasingly electrified. Dymag wheels are available in sizes of up to 23-inches – rated to 1,000kg – with even larger sizes to follow.
Hankuk Carbon Chairman, Moonsoo Cho said: “We share Dymag’s vision for the growth in the global market potential for high performance hybrid carbon composite wheels and our expertise in composite materials and industrialisation will accelerate this. Together, we will bring automotive OEMs an unrivalled technical and commercial offering for future vehicles.”
Dymag CEO, Tom de Lange said: “The strategic partnership between Dymag and Hankuk Carbon will enable a step change in the production and supply of state-of-the-art carbon composite wheels to the world’s leading automotive OEMs, bringing not only significantly higher volumes but also greater cost efficiencies via scalable, localised manufacturing.
“The price-point for these wheels will be appropriate for both luxury and performance-oriented versions of road cars, particularly in the growing high-end electric vehicle market, thanks to Dymag’s technology benefits in improving EV range and NVH. For all automotive sectors, the dynamic, durability and aesthetic benefits of carbon composite hybrid wheels will become accessible to a larger number of consumers through OEM programmes.”