Plastic wheels may be coming to production carsEnlarge Photo
According to a department manager at Fraunhofer, Andreas Büter, who spoke recently with reporters from Automobilwoche, the simulations use tomography imaging to determine the length, curvature and density of the glass fibers used in the wheel. Those parameters, he says, are crucial for the firmness and maximum stress of the material.
This will allow them to forecast how the wheel may react to impacts to a curb or from a crash, as well as long-term reliability. So far, some prototype examples have been tested successfully beyond 250,000km.