Carbon fiber has been around for a few decades. This week we are fortunate to have The Colonel hang out with us most mornings. We are going to prod The Colonel to share his thoughts on carbon fiber.
Q: Colonel, good morning almost the end of the week, and getting closer to Christmas. As usual you look refreshed and invigorated this morning.
A: Good Morning guys, the cappuccino is excellent as usual, yes the Christmas decorations are all up too.
Q: Wgat is your knowledge of carbon fiber.
A: My technical knowledge is non existent, but I know its light and strong, race cars, planes are assembled with numerous carbon fiber components.
Q: It seems to be taking time for carbon fiber to reach mainstream applications in autos.
A: Guys, think of this...a few generations ago aluminum was an exotic material, it was light and reasonably strong. Its taken a long time for aluminum to sort of make its way to mainstream autos.
Q: Aluminum engines were a rarity at one time.
A: In the mid 1960's (50 years ago) GM had an aluminum 215 cubic inch nail head engine in Buick Skylarks, ZL1's (aluminum big block) which started in Can Am cars. Agreed aluminum engines were rare for decades.
Q: Now with the Ford F 150 an aluminum body is truly in the mainstream.
A: Yes, and its encouraging to see a quantum leap in saving weight.
Q: Back to carbon fiber...it seems to be taking a long time.
A: Its much easier, economical to uphold a steel process, and make the steel thinner especially for body panels.
Q: BMW is pioneering carbon fiber with the i3?
A: Yes, think of it batteries are very heavy, to compensate the structure and shell of the car is very light with carbon fiber.
Q: BMW is also pioneering a sort of mass production for carbon fiber.
A: Yes they are...its a brave new world.
Q: Do you think that carbon fiber will become widespread in autos.
A: No...it requires additional steps, more time, not really conducive towards cost conscious mass production.