The jointly-developed innovative glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) coil springs will be launched in an upper mid-size Audi model
Guyancourt, 18 July 2014 - Sogefi’s patented coil spring technology has been jointly developed together with Audi for market introduction before year-end. Audi will be the world’s first car manufacturer to launch this technology in series production.
Sogefi, one of the world leaders in filtration systems and flexible suspension components, as well as air management and engine cooling systems, has patented this new type of coil spring made from glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP), which weighs between 40 and 70% less than the traditional steel springs. The new GFRP coil springs can be assembled on cars and light commercial vehicles without affecting the suspension system architecture, in turn allowing for a weight reduction of 4-6 kilos per vehicle (depending on coil spring design and type of vehicle), as well as a significant reduction of the unsprung mass. The resulting benefits range from more precise driving and lower consumption with consequent reduction in CO2 emissions (up to – 0.5 g per km), to enhanced noise-vibrational-harshness (NVH) comfort and full protection against corrosion.
Guglielmo Fiocchi, CEO of Sogefi, said: “Research and development is a key factor for the future growth of Sogefi. Innovation in the car sector, starting from reducing weight and improving the efficiency of vehicles, now depends significantly on the components companies. Sogefi in particular is gradually increasing its investment in research and development, which has gone up in recent years from around 2% to just under 3% of its total revenues. We are very proud of the choice that Audi has made”.
This innovation also guarantees a significant reduction of CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process as the overall energy required is significantly lower than in traditional steel coil spring manufacturing.
"The introduction of the patented GFRP coil spring is a world first that reinforces Sogefi group's position as innovative premium partner to OEMs," said Andrea Taschini, Director of Sogefi's Aftermarket Business Unit. “The Aftermarket will also benefit in the medium to longer-term from the stream of innovative products coming from our focused R&D activities," he added.
The collaboration with Audi on this latest initiative reflects the growing significance of Sogefi to the car sector, especially with German car manufacturers. Many of last year´s top selling cars contain Sogefi components as original equipment, including both the BMW 1 and 3 series, VW Polo and Tiguan, plus Opel Corsa and Astra. They all proof that Sogefi is a strong partner to major vehicle manufacturers because of its ability to create innovative solutions.