Buggati develops world largest titanium fuctional component by using 3D printing. 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.
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.”
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. In comparison with the aluminium component currently used, which weighs 4.9 kg, Bugatti could therefore reduce the weight of the brake caliper by about 40% at the same time as ensuring even higher strength by using the new part.
To date, this approach was not feasible because it is extremely difficult or even impossible to mill or forge components from a titanium block as is normal practice with aluminium due to the extremely high strength of the material. This problem has now been solved using an extremely high-performance 3-D printer, which also opens up the possibility of generating even more complex structures which are significantly stiffer and stronger than would be possible with any conventional production process. Frank Götzke found the selective laser melting units required in Hamburg, at Laser Zentrum Nord.