– New eight-piston monobloc brake caliper is the world’s first brake caliper to be produced by 3-D printer
– Also largest brake caliper in the automotive industry as a whole
– Bugatti is the first series manufacturer to use titanium, a material calling for extremely complex and challenging processing
– Worldwide innovation is the result of cooperation between the Bugatti Development Department and Laser Zentrum Nord in Hamburg
– French super sports car brand reaches new milestone in development of 3-D printing as a future-oriented technology
– As the technical development laboratory of the Volkswagen Group, Bugatti leads the way in 3-D printing and is a worldwide innovation driver
– 3-D printed components to be trialled for series production this year
– Experience gained to be used in research and development projects of the Volkswagen Group and its brands
With its Veyron and Chiron super sports cars, Bugatti has established a position as a pioneer for new technical developments and innovations in the extreme performance sector of the automotive industry over the past few decades and has set breathtaking performance data and records. Now the Development Department of the French luxury brand has achieved a new coup. For the first time, the Bugatti developers have succeeded in designing a brake caliper that can be produced by 3-D printing. But that is by no means all. While the main material used for the additive production of vehicle components to date has been aluminium, the new brake caliper is made from titanium. This is therefore the world’s largest functional component produced from titanium using 3-D printing processes. This new milestone in the development of 3-D printing was reached in cooperation with Laser Zentrum Nord of Hamburg, an institute that has formed part of the Fraunhofer research organization since the beginning of the year. With this world debut, Bugatti has underlined its lighthouse function for 3-D printing within the Volkswagen Group and its role as an innovation driver in the international automotive industry. Vehicle trials for the use of the 3-D titanium brake caliper in series production are to start in the first half of the year.
“Vehicle development is a never-ending process. This is particularly true at Bugatti,” says Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies in the Technical Development Department of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “In our continuing development efforts, we are always considering how new materials and processes can be used to make our current model even better and how future vehicles of our brand could be designed.”
“As our performance data are often at the physical limits, we are especially demanding,” adds the 48-year-old machine tool and production technician, who holds a degree in engineering. “This is why Bugatti always goes at least one step further than other manufacturers in the development of technical solutions.”
Götzke has worked for the Volkswagen group for more than 22 years. He joined Bugatti in 2001 and played a key role in the development of the Veyron as Head of Chassis Development and in the development of the Chiron in his current position.
Bugatti currently uses the most powerful brakes in the world on the new Chiron. The brake calipers were an entirely new development. They are forged from a block of high-strength aluminium alloy. With eight titanium pistons on each of the front calipers and six on each of the rear units, these are also the largest brake calipers currently installed on a production vehicle. The brake calipers of the Chiron are produced using bionic principles on the basis of a natural model. The new architecture combines minimum weight with maximum stiffness. The inspiration for the design and mode of operation of the brakes was taken from motorsports.
With the newly developed titanium brake caliper from the 3-D printer, Bugatti is now going one step further and breaking new ground. This particular titanium alloy, with the scientific designation of Ti6AI4V, is mainly used in the aerospace industry, for example for highly stressed undercarriage and wing components or in aircraft and rocket engines. The material offers considerably higher performance than aluminium. For example, even as a 3-D printed component, it has a tensile strength of 1,250 N/mm2. This means that a force of slightly more than 125 kg be applied to a square millimetre of this titanium alloy without the material rupturing. The new titanium brake caliper, which is 41 cm long, 21 cm wide and 13.6 cm high, weighs only 2.9 kg.
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