British sports-car maker BAC will become the first company to use graphene composites in their Mono single-seater model.
The innovative material will be initially applied to the Mono’s rear wheel arches, with the help of Haydale Composite Solutions.
Graphene was created out of sheets of carbon just one atom thick and according to BAC is considerably lighter and stronger than the standard carbon fibre. The company estimates that the use of graphene can bring weight reductions of up to 20 per cent while being 200 times stronger than steel.
BAC decided to test the new material on the rear wheel arches first due to the size and complexity of the panel, in order to thoroughly test the manufacturing process and how the material fits with the rest of the car.
“BAC is uniquely placed in the automotive industry to be able to take innovative steps, and latest work with graphene is further proof of this”, said BAC Development Director and co-founder Neill Briggs. “This development work is further proof of our ability to work with the very latest materials and innovators.”
“We are pleased to have worked on the design and development of the graphene enhanced carbon fibre materials for the BAC Mono”, added Ebby Shahidi, Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd.’s Director of Aerospace and Defence. “These initial materials have shown some major increases in impact and thermal performance coupled with improved surface finish and it’s pleasing to see these attributes being demonstrated on such a high performance vehicle as the Mono.”
The new BAC Mono with the graphene panels was showcased for the first time at the Science in the City festival in Manchester, UK.