back

Porsche uses sustainable alternative to carbon fibres for Nürburgring 24h race

Porsche Motorsports partners with technology leader Bcomp and Four Motors racing team to run full natural fibre bodywork

With sustainability ever higher on the agenda, Porsche Motorsport launches Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR featuring a full natural fibre bodywork kit developed with Swiss firm Bcomp. The car premiered at the legendary Nürburgring 24h race on 26th-27th September and will be run by Porsche customer racing team Four Motors.

 

Thanks to the powerRibs™ technology, the natural fibre parts cannot only match the performance of traditional monolithic carbon fibres, but also offer additional key benefits:

  • Sustainability: 75% lower CO2 footprint and viable end of life options
  • Cost reduction: up to 30% lower material cost
  • Safety: ductile crash behaviour without sharp shattering

 

Sustainability in motorsports

Fribourg, Switzerland. As industry and governments continue the fight against climate change, motorsport is playing a crucial role as a test bed for sustainable technologies. The motorsport industry enables products to be brought to market and tested in extremely short time frames and then, once proven, these technologies can be applied to high volume vertical markets including automotive, aerospace, and marine.

 

This is not the first time Porsche has led the way on sustainability. In 2019 Porsche Motorsport launched the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 CS with natural fibre doors and rear wing. It was the first case of replacing carbon fibres with natural fibres in serial production for motorsports and resulted in Porsche being shortlisted for a JEC Innovation Award together with Bcomp and the Fraunhofer WKI. In fact, German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, later used this door as a showcase on the press conference presenting Germany’s new bio-economy strategy. Since then, the parts have raced successfully in numerous racing series around the globe. Now Porsche Motorsport and Bcomp are progressing the collaboration by launching a full natural fibre body kit, the result is the Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR.

 

“It has been a fascinating journey since we started our collaboration with Porsche 3 years ago, resulting in the first natural fibre bodywork in serial production – the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport with our sustainable lightweighting solution in the rear wing and doors. Today we present the next step together, expanding the technology to the full composite body kit. We are humbled and proud to collaborate with Porsche and its reputable partners, reaching an important milestone towards a widespread use of sustainable performance materials in tomorrow’s mobility” says Christian Fischer, CEO Bcomp.

 

Front bumper b-side with powerRibs™ reinforcement grid

 

From raw material to high performance parts

Plain natural fibres cannot match the performance of carbon fibres. However, the award-winning powerRibs™ technology is a game changer. Inspired by the veins on the back of leaves, it creates a 3D grid on one side of a thin-walled shell element, which maximises stiffness at minimal weight.

 

The benefits of Bcomp’s sustainable technologies compared to carbon fibres are clear:

  • Performance: equivalent stiffness to weight
  • Sustainability: up to 75% lower CO2 footprint for a composite part using natural fibres vs. carbon fibres. At end of life, parts can be used for thermal energy recovery without residual waste, rather than ending up in landfills
  • Safety: ductile crash behaviour without sharp shattering, reducing the risk for punctures
  • Cost reduction: up to 30% lower material cost for the natural fibre fabric

 

Porsche Motorsports and Bcomp have worked closely together on the development of the natural fibre body kit, from Bcomp’s reverse engineering the carbon fibre parts into equivalent natural fibre parts, through iterations and manufacturing. It uses the same manufacturing technology and even the same moulds as the carbon fibre parts – with an important difference. Consumables such as bleeders and breathers can be eliminated, further reducing the environmental footprint and costs.

 

natural fibre bodykit

 

Live at the Nürburgring 24h race

“This project shows in an impressive way that natural fibres can easily replace carbon fibre in many motorsport applications thanks to the powerRibs™. The 24h race at the Nürburgring is the toughest GT race in the world and the perfect opportunity to put our sustainable lightweighting solutions through the decisive endurance test, we could not imagine a better place for it and we are very proud to take this step with Porsche and Four Motors.” says Bcomp’s Motorsports Manager Johann Wacht.

 

The Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR will be raced by German Porsche customer racing team Four Motors, and the first race will be the legendary 24H Race at the Nürburgring. The team is known for their strong commitment to sustainability, and a central goal is to support the development of technologies that reduce the CO2 footprint and that can be applied in road cars as well, thus significantly impacting the CO2 footprint of mobility.

 

 

“We have been using bio-fibre components in our racing cars for years and have always been determined to promote the use of these high-performance materials,” says team manager Thomas von Löwis. “Now Porsche and Bcomp have developed a perfect sustainable product just in time for the 24h race. We look forward to demonstrating the reliability and endurance of the Manthey Racing natural fibre bodywork kit with the GT4”.

 

After the successful test outing at the 24h race on Nürburgring, Manthey-Racing plan to offer the full natural fibre body kit to customers.

 

Learn more:

Full press release from Porsche AG

www.fourmotors.com

www.manthey-racing.de

 

Picture copyrights: Porsche AG and Four Motors/ChrisCarPics

 
 
 
 

Recent posts

thumbnail

May 11, 2021

Job Opening – Automotive Customer Engineer

We are looking for an Automotive Customer Engineer to strengthen our team and further boost our Automotive market entry. Bcomp Ltd. is a young and dynamic Swiss company specialized in the development, marketing, and sales of natural fibre composite solutions for high performance applications. To support the company’s current hyper-growth phase, Bcomp is looking for a Customer Project Engineer to strengthen its team and further boost its Automotive market entry. You will provide technical support to our Automotive customers for the use of Bcomp’s technologies in their interior and exterior applications and participate to the development of our solutions to full production readiness according to our customers’ needs. Bcomp’s technologies for automotive market – mainly the powerRibs™ technology – are in industrialization phase and ready to be used by our customers to manufacture interior parts such as door panels, instrument panels, seatbacks or trunk trim parts. The team is small, dynamic, and international and works in a fast-paced, equal, and entrepreneurial environment. Each person takes responsibility for her or his work and contributes to a friendly work atmosphere with many laughs. Requirements: M.Sc. in mechanical engineering or material science, minimum of 2 years experience in polymer or composites processing, mainly with thermoplastics required. Good understanding of structural mechanics, experience in automotive industry, in interior parts design and manufacturing is an advantage. Languages: fluent in English is a must - German a great advantage, any other languages are an added bonus. You like interacting with people in general, and customers in particular, are ready to travel extensively, and able to work autonomously while sharing relevant information with the team. For more information, check out the full job description by clicking on the link below. Come and work with us Do you want to take part in the adventure of a young, fast moving company, which is in full development in the automotive sector? Come on board and contribute to the development of our business with your skills and take part in the amazing working atmosphere of our company. We happily invite you to send us your full application through: workwithus@bcomp.ch Full job description: Job opening - Automotive Customer Engineer

thumbnail

Apr 13, 2021

Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label

Update - April 13, 2021  Today marks a very special day for the Solar Impulse Foundation, as it has officially labeled the 1000th solution. This marks the attainment of a first milestone after the Solar Impulse Team has dedicated 4 years to finding, meticulously assessing, and growing a network of cleantech solutions that can make a real change when scaled.   In the words of the Solar Impulse Foundation: "Today, we have a portfolio of 1000+ solutions that span every industry and sector, proving that we can do so much better in all aspects of our economy. This wealth of solutions allows us to be an ideal partner for governments, companies, and individuals to hammer out their climate strategies."   Bcomp is very proud to have been labeled as one of the #1000solutions. We are even more excited though, to be a part of the #beyond1000solutions movement and we are very much looking forward to playing a role in shaping a more sustainable future.    

thumbnail

Apr 07, 2021

Extreme E embraces high-performance natural fibre composites

Sustainable lightweighting specialist Bcomp partners with Spark for all-electric race SUV Extreme E car features natural fibre bodywork using Bcomp’s ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ Bcomp’s solutions enable bodyworks with 85% less CO2 cradle-to-gate than carbon fibre Five-race Season 1 will see intense off-road action from the arctic to the amazon First event, Extreme E Desert X Prix, to take place in Saudi Arabia 3rd & 4th April Bcomp ampliTex™ + powerRibs™ natural fibre bodywork - © QEV Technologies Fribourg, Switzerland. Swiss sustainable lightweighting specialist Bcomp supplies its natural fibre composite solutions for all nine Spark Odyssey all-electric SUVs competing in the inaugural season of the Extreme E Championship. Starting in Saudi Arabia for the Desert X Prix, the state-of-the-art Spark Odyssey 21 off-road racing SUVs will compete clad with Bcomp’s sustainable lightweighting solutions in place of conventional carbon fibre. Pushing the natural properties of flax fibre to the limit, Bcomp’s innovative ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ technologies are bringing a new dimension to sustainability in motorsport. The natural fibre bodyworks designed by Spark Racing Technology will be put to the test across five brutal race weekends spanning four continents. The Extreme E Championship is an FIA-sanctioned international off-road racing series that seeks to highlight the impact of climate change while promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles. As such, Spark – the manufacturer of the race-spec Odyssey SUV – focussed on bringing together frontier electric vehicle technologies and industry-leading sustainability experts. Théophile Gouzin, Technical Director of Spark Racing Technology said: “Bcomp’s natural fibre technologies are a perfect match for the goals we set for ourselves in Extreme E, achieving the highest level of sustainable performance and safety. We are very happy about the successful collaboration with Bcomp as both companies are technology leaders in sustainable motorsports.” Bcomp’s proprietary powerRibs™ reinforcement grid uses the high specific bending stiffness of flax to boost natural fibre performance to the level of carbon fibre while offering an 85% cradle-to-gate CO2 reduction. In combination with the state-of-art ampliTex™ fabrics, Bcomp’s solutions enable sustainable bodyworks with the same stiffness and weight as carbon fibre while improving safety and damping. Natural fibre bodyworks minimise the risk of injuries of drivers, marshals, and spectators thanks to a ductile breaking behaviour, which, in case of an impact, results in pieces with blunt edges instead of producing sharp and dangerous debris like carbon fibre. Additionally, the 250% better damping properties improve driver comfort by lowering vibrations and noise levels, reducing fatigue over the course of a race. While Bcomp’s award-winning technologies are already used in 16 racing series around the world, the applications are not restricted to motorsport. From automotive interior panels for electric performance brand Polestar, to luxury yachting and the European Space Agency’s latest natural-fibre satellite panels, Bcomp’s technologies are relied upon wherever weight, stiffness and sustainability are important. Christian Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder at Bcomp, commented: “We are thrilled to be working with Spark to provide our sustainable lightweighting solutions for the Odyssey bodywork. Having our technology involved in this series is an incredible opportunity for Bcomp; racing in such a wide variety of locations, climates and terrains will really test our materials and conclusively demonstrate their capability and performance. Sustainable composites offer a practical path forward for so many industries, motorsport included. Given the volume of production, consumption, waste and emissions involved in the supply, use and disposal of carbon fibre, the implementation of sustainable composites is a clear step in the right direction. Spark has managed to deliver a vehicle that is not only ready for the incredibly tough conditions of Extreme E, but also one that lives up to Extreme E’s ethos and ambition. It has been an incredibly exciting project to take part in and we can’t wait to see our natural fibre composites speeding across the desert on the first race weekend.” Learn more: www.extreme-e.com www.sparkracingtechnology.com Previous Next