Boeing to Collaborate with BMW on Carbon Fibre Recycling

The BMW Group and Boeing have signed a collaboration agreement to participate in joint research for carbon fibre recycling as well as share manufacturing knowledge and explore automation opportunities.

Both the BMW Group and Boeing are pioneering the use of carbon fibre in their products. With the release of the BMW i3 in late 2013, followed later by the BMW i8, the BMW Group will bring two vehicles with a carbon passenger cell onto the market for the first time and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is made up of 50 percent carbon fibre material. Recycling composite material at point of use and at the end of the product life therefore is essential to both companies.

Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of BMW AG for Development said;

Boeing for us is a suitable partner for a collaboration in the field of carbon fibre”, said Boeing has many years of extensive experience using carbon fibre 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 fibre 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 share carbon fibre manufacturing process simulations and ideas for manufacturing automation. The collaboration agreement between the two companies is the first in the history of either company.

As part of its SGL Automotive Carbon Fibres LLC joint venture, the BMW Group has built a new, state-of-the-art carbon fibre plant in Moses Lake, Washington (USA), together with the SGL Group. The plant is an important component in both companies’ strategy to automate production of ultra-light carbon fibre reinforced plastics for use in future vehicle concepts. The carbon fibres produced in Moses Lake will be used exclusively for the BMW Group’s BMW i3 and BMW i8.

The Wackersdorf facility makes the carbon fibres into fabrics, which are processed at the Landshut plant to make lightweight CFRP body components for the BMW i3, which will be assembled at the BMW Plant Leipzig.

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