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Materials & Assembly

Lamborghini Uses Carbon-Fiber Seats in Latest Roadster

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Beth Stackpole
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Luxury items love those composites
Beth Stackpole   6/1/2012 7:33:59 AM
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Interesting post, Ann. Funny (but not totally unexpected) that Calloway Golf and Lamborghini are teaming up on composite development. Two very different applications, but similarity in the need for lightweight, flexible materials. And want to bet they may have overlap in customer base?

naperlou
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Research Center
naperlou   6/1/2012 9:28:33 AM
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It is interesting that a car company, with volumes this low, should have a composites research center.  Of course, it is important to what they are trying to do as a company, but that is not a trivial thing.  When I was in the aerospace industry we had a composite laba and made our own composites from raw materials.  I assume that this technology will eventually get out into the more general marketplace as time goes on and Lambo proves that its technology works in the rigors of a high performance auto.

NadineJ
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Re: Research Center
NadineJ   6/1/2012 11:28:22 AM
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It makes more sense for Lamborghini to have a composites research center that would lead to such a dynamic fabric than, say, Toyota.  Smaller, high-end companies act as the catalyst.  And, large,mass market companies translate what's needed for their market.

The matte look is very intersting.  I'd love to touch a swatch and see if they incorparate this into their apparel line someshow.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Luxury items love those composites
Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 11:48:07 AM
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Beth, I'd make the same bet about customer base overlap for those two companies, although it's also true that carbon fiber had an early presence in sports equipment such as golf clubs. This isn't the first time these two have worked together, as DN has covered in the past: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=212241 That overlap may explain, in part, how they can afford a composite research center, as naperlou asked. It seems that many non-US sports car companies are run by, or were at least begun by, members of the upper classes, at least in England and Italy, as expensive hobbies.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Research Center
Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 11:48:53 AM
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naperlou, I think it's important to remember that high volumes do not drive all progress/R&D, especially outside of electronics. Back in the day, when so many technologies were developed for high-ticket, long lifecycle products in industries such as mil/ and early comms and even electronics at one time, being a vertically integrated company that made a lot of your own materials and/or components was not unusual. IBM was a prime example.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Research Center
Ann R. Thryft   6/1/2012 11:51:17 AM
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nadine, interesting that you mentioned clothing as an app for the carbonskin fabric. So did the press materials.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Research Center
Beth Stackpole   6/1/2012 12:54:13 PM
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What would the appeal be of such a carbon fiber material for clothing? Would it be form or feel? Not sure I'm getting my arms around those design sensibilities.

Charles Murray
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Why use composites?
Charles Murray   6/1/2012 5:43:55 PM
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Ann, I'm curious why they chose to use carbon fiber on upholstery, center console, instrument panel, and inner door panel. I understand the weight advantages of carbon fibers on the chassis and exterior, but it seems like there would be a big cost penalty. What's the advantage?

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Luxury items love those composites
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/4/2012 9:36:29 AM
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Ann,

re: "It seems that many non-US sports car companies are run by, or were at least begun by, members of the upper classes, at least in England and Italy, as expensive hobbies."

I MAY BE way off base, but do I detect a note of either sarcasm, elitist envy, or jealosy in that statement?  IF any of the above are true, I would ask you the trite question, ' when was the last time you got a job from a poor person?'

Every day of my working career I thanked GOD that the owner of the company that I worked for HAD his yachts, his fancy autos, his vacation houses, etc.  IF it were for their fortitude, persistence, & plain old "guts", I would not have had the successful career that I had.


 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Research Center
OLD_CURMUDGEON   6/4/2012 9:42:18 AM
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naperlou,

re: " It is interesting that a car company, with volumes this low, should have a composites research center."

I don't find that exceptional at all.  When you are selling a product that is at least one to two orders of magnitude greater than the typical product in that category, it is very understandable that there would be some "pennies" left over for some investigatory work.

Don't lose sight of the fact that a typical "oil change" for a FERRARI, LAMBORGHINI, etc. is over $1000.  That's a lot of oil changes down at your local SPEEDY-LUBE!!!!!
 


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