Carbon fibre wheels are flowing through Carbon Revolution’s Mega-line in its Waurn Ponds factory.
The first phase of the Mega-line project – which started construction in December 2021 – is in the commissioning phase and is running trial wheels from layup, right through to demoulding.
Watch the demoulding process (sequence shortened in video) below.
After the wheel undergoes high-pressure resin transfer moulding, robots separate the rim tool from the newly moulded wheel (not shown here).
Specially designed Kuka robots pick up the moulded wheel in its tool and separate the wheel from the mould tooling. Importantly, this ensures human operators do not need to handle hot, heavy tooling.
These tools weigh up to 439kg (967 lbs) and are around 120°C when they are brought in for demoulding. After they are separated from the wheel, the tools are sent up an elevator and back to the face layup area, to prepare to make another wheel.
The moulded wheel moves through subsequent factory processes, including Diamond Weave™ application, machining, CT scan and painting.
From early 2023, production wheels will begin rolling down the Mega-line for the Corvette Z06 and other programs. Carbon fibre wheels for the upcoming 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse will also be produced on the Mega-line at a later date.
As for the wheel in this video, stay tuned!