• Audi is ditching conventional steel suspension springs for GFRP (fiberglass)

      Glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) is seeing more and more use in modern cars as the material is relatively cheap and lightweight. The common term of course is fiberglass and Audi found another area to use it and will be incorporating it into the suspension system of their production cars. The most likely candidate to see the new GFRP springs is the facelifted Audi A7 sedan set for an official launch later this year.

      So why GFRP? The springs are lighter at 3.5 pounds to the 6.0 pounds of conventional steel. GFRP also will not rust which is certainly appealing in climates with snow and for longevity purposes.

      This may sound new but it isn't. There are other production cars using fiberglass springs including the C7 Corvette.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Audi is ditching conventional steel suspension springs for GFRP (fiberglass) started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 15 Comments
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        Interesting, you'd think these springs would crack and deteriorate almost immediately
      1. andrew20195's Avatar
        andrew20195 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mjmarovi Click here to enlarge
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        Interesting, you'd think these springs would crack and deteriorate almost immediately
        The ratio of fiber to plastic, type of plastic, etc. has a huge influence on how the material behaves. Materials science has come a long way.
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        This is the type of stuff I like to see. This is the first application of composite coil springs, hopefully this type of thing spreads to other manufacturers soon. CF would be even better...like Koenigsegg is doing for the One:1. BMW might be able to manage that in the near future with all the money they've put into CF mass-production.
      1. ModBargains.com's Avatar
        ModBargains.com -
        This is crazy. Really interested to see where this goes
      1. AGP1328's Avatar
        AGP1328 -
        I would think that this would just make the ride crazy stiff.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AGP1328 Click here to enlarge
        This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
        I would think that this would just make the ride crazy stiff.
        Why? It's flexible.
      1. AGP1328's Avatar
        AGP1328 -
        It just doesn't seem like it would be as flexible as a normal spring, but im sure Audi has it figured out, they seem to be pretty technologically advanced these days.
      1. wreckz's Avatar
        wreckz -
        I've been reading up on this
        I love this move this is the future
      1. AlexQuattro's Avatar
        AlexQuattro -
        Any other benefits other that weight reduction and longevity in harsh climates? I mean 2.5 pounds per spring is 10 pounds less overall but il will take more that fiberglass springs to makes Audi's weight competitive. Even if a fat chick eats salad once a day, she's still fat.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        They probably last longer and are cheaper to produce.
      1. rawad1017's Avatar
        rawad1017 -
        this is sort of like how modern day cars have switched to plastic in the engine bay rather than metal like the old cars, i would think
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by AlexQuattro Click here to enlarge
        I mean 2.5 pounds per spring is 10 pounds less overall but il will take more that fiberglass springs to makes Audi's weight competitive
        It is unsprung weight so the effect on the overall weight is not that great, but for handling the effect is surely noticeable.
      1. AGP1328's Avatar
        AGP1328 -
        For handling the reduced weight will be fantastic, but yes^ overall 10 pounds isn't a huge difference at all.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        I really don't think it is as much about the weight as it is about the material change.
      1. TRES's Avatar
        TRES -
        I wonder if audi uses or plan to use these gfrp springs on their race cars.