BMW and Boeing teaming up on carbon fiber development

BMW announced today that it has signed a collaboration agreement with Boeing to participate in joint research for carbon fiber recycling as well as share manufacturing knowledge and explore automation opportunities.

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“Boeing for us is a suitable partner for a collaboration in the field of carbon fiber”, said Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of BMW AG for Development. “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.”

Both company’s are pioneers in the use of carbon fiber in their products. BMW will be using carbon fiber heavily in the upcoming i3 in late 2013, followed by the BMW i8 in 2014.

Besides just figuring out a proper way to dispose of carbon fiber, BMW said that the two will share carbon fiber manufacturing processes and ideas for manufacturing automation.

“This collaboration agreement is a very important step forward in developing the use and end use of carbon fiber materials,” said Larry Schneider, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Product Development, who represented Boeing at the signing in Seattle. “It is especially important that we plan for the end of life of products made from carbon fiber. We want to look at ways to reclaim and reuse those materials to make new products. Our work with the BMW Group will help us attain that goal.”

– By: Omar Rana