The Lamborghini Aventador J roadster, which debuted at this year's Geneva Motor Show, not only uses carbon-fiber composites throughout the car, but also features a new seat upholstery material called CarbonSkin.
The new material is reportedly woven of carbon fibers in a 2x2 twill pattern, and then infused in a new type of resin, in an entirely new impregnation system that has not been used before in the automotive industry. This infusion process stabilizes and strengthens the fiber structure, as is usual in resin infusion systems, yet the fabric remains soft and flexible after curing. The result is a matte fabric that is said to be half the weight of leather, and that can be easily shaped to conform to a broad variety of contours.
Like its predecessor, the Aventador LP 700-4, the Aventador J showcases multiple uses of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. Lamborghini is noted for developing many "firsts" in these materials over the last 30 years. In 2010, the car company opened the Advanced Composites Research Center to further development of these materials. In the J, they are distributed throughout the car's exterior and interior, including the chassis.
The CarbonSkin carbon-fiber composite fabric is soft and pliable enough to cover the vehicle's car seats, where it's used as both upholstery and trim fabric. It also covers other surfaces in the cockpit, such as the center console, the instrument-panel topper pad, and inner door panels.
After each forged composite seat shell is molded, the CarbonSkin material is co-bonded and sewn to the seat's front. The new fabric is produced for the automaker by a manufacturing partner company, although it was developed and patented by Lamborghini.
The Aventador J's seats themselves are made of forged carbon-fiber composites. Each seat is a two-piece bonded shell structure. The forged composite material was jointly developed by Lamborghini's R&D groups in partnership with Callaway Golf Co. That material was first shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, on the suspension arms and monocoque of Lamborghini's Sesto Elemento demonstrator vehicle.
The forged composite is said to be the strongest and lightest material that either of the partner companies has ever used. It comprises more than 500,000 intertwined, randomly oriented, turbostratic fibers per square inch. Precision parts that can withstand extremely high forces can be produced with it.
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