Composite Wheels 800067

This paper first examines and quantifies fuel economy and energy incentives for the use of light-weight wheels on passenger cars, then describes and evaluates two radically different composite wheel candidates: a glass fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) wheel, and a laminated, foam-filled wheel comprised of thin steel shells encapsulating a core of structural plastic. The effects of brake heat, long-term aging, hydrolysis, design configuration (particularly the size and shape of brake cooling holes), curb impact, and other considerations unique to organic-composite wheels are examined.


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