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BMW falls for flax

Carbon fibre components being replaced with renewable, high-performance alternative.

22nd November 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Switzerland


Swiss company Bcomp has received a 2022 Supplier Innovation Award from the BMW Group for its development of new products from flax fibres that can, for example, replace carbon-fibre reinforced composites.

Bcomp’s powerRib fabrics are inspired by the veins in leaves and ensure maximum rigidity with minimum weight which can reduce the overall weight of a vehicle, while using less material.

A second Bcomp product, ampliTex, can replace conventional covering materials in a way that is carbon-neutral and creates new and interesting structures for surfaces. By combining both materials, up to 70% of the plastic previously used in the interior trim can be saved and up to 75% of CO2 emissions avoided.

The materials from Bcomp were used for the first time in 2019 by BMW M Motorsport for Formula E. Bcomp is also the official BMW M Motorsport partner for the new BMW M4 GT4.

The M4 GT4 features more natural fibre parts than any other GT racing car in series production and Bcomp’s flax fibre solutions can be found throughout the interior on the dashboard and centre console, as well as on bodywork components such as the hood, front splitter, doors, trunk, and rear wing. With the exception of the roof, there are almost no carbon fibre reinforced plastic components that have not been replaced by the renewable high-performance flax materials.

The BMW Group now has a stake in Bcomp through its corporate venture fund BMW i Ventures, and is supporting significant decarbonisation in vehicle manufacturing.

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