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The structural roll bar is produced with a carbon-fiber tape material. It provides the required stiffness and strength.
The Rinspeed Inc. (rinspeed.com) BamBoo concept car—an electric vehicle powered by a 54-kW motor from the Fräger Group (fraeger-gruppe.de) that’s claimed to move the 1,090-kg vehicle to a top speed of 120 km/h—does contain small amounts of bamboo (a thread used on the interior is made with it). But by in large, it is made out of a variety of other materials, such as steel for the chassis and composites for the body and aluminum for the wheels.
One of the suppliers is Ticona (ticona.com), which provided a variety of materials to Rinspeed for the car. Included:
• A 20-mm wide, 70% glass polypropylene continuous fiber tape. It is used for the underbody and wheel wells. (Material: Celstran CRF-TP PP GF70)
• A 60% glass polyoxymethylene copolymer (Hostaform POM) tape used to mold the instrument panel covers and door sills. (Material: Celstran CFR-TP POM GF60)
• A 60% carbon fiber (Fortron) polyphenylene sulfide tape. Used for the tail gate and structural roll bar. This roll bar is of considerable interest in that a comparable aluminum roll bar would, according to Ticona, weigh 20% more and a steel one 50% more. (Material: Celstran CFR-TP PPS CF60)
• A metal-effect polymer used on various components (e.g., steering wheel; roof pole) to provide a shiny surface without painting. (Material: Hostaform MetaLX POM)
While the BamBoo is likely not to become a production vehicle anytime soon—heck, anytime, period—it is interest-ing to note that Rinspeed worked with a variety of suppliers, ranging from wheel supplier AEZ (aez-wheels.com) to Weisbrod (weisbrod-zuerrer.ch), a Swiss fabric company, so chances are elements will be seen on the road.