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The structural roll bar is produced with a carbon-fiber tape material. It provides the required stiffness and strength.

This is the Rinspeed BamBoo concept car. The roof is inflatable and is designed to be removed and used when you hit the beach as an air mattress.

BamBoo: Whimsical Concept with Hard-core Engineering

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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.