It was first introduced by Lamborghini at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, on their Sesto Elemento concept car. The technology of the material itself was made in joint collaboration with the Callaway Golf Company, which initially uses carbon fibre composite material to be formed, with a Vinyl Ester or Epoxy resin. The term "Forged Composite" isn't an exact material, but the technology to be able to forge complex shapes, which would have been time-consuming or impossible with traditional carbon fibre, which is one of its many benefits. However, one thing to note is that it is not as resistant as carbon fibre, yet still shares the same density.
How is it formed?
The technology combines a material, by performing definition while through the moulding and curing processes, we are capable of forming specific design features to create a forged carbon composite parts. This firstly begins with chopped carbon fibre tows, that are sandwiched between two layers of resin and uses around 500,000 intertwined turbostratic (the structure of high strength carbon fibres) fibres per square inch. No manual layup is involved in forming the forged composite part and prepregs are not required, unlike carbon fibre.
Usually, the recycled carbon fibres that would have come from products originally made with fabrics or braided threads would be used in the Forged Composite process, therefore already having chopped carbon fibres and epoxy resin mixed together.
What are its benefits?
Adapts better to meet the specific needs of designers, due to its chopped nature, which can then be moulded into any complex geometric pattern, for example, 3-dimensional parts which feature complex details, such as thickness transitions, holes and compound curvature. This allows room for more complete parts, rather than having a number of different parts attached together, which is less time-consuming. What you're left with, is a unique pattern, where no two pieces are identical.
- One third is as dense as titanium metal but stronger.
- Forging, just as the name suggests, offers us greater options, that we would not be usually able to do with manual layups and moulds, especially with products that have strange angles and have flexibility requirements.
- Room for more innovation, in other words, design freedom.
- Superior resistance to fatigue and moisture.
- Lower modulus of elasticity than aluminium.
- Highly resistant to flaws and damage.
Examples of where it is being used:
- It was firstly used on the inner monocoque of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and has more recently used on the exterior and interior of the Lamborghini Huracan Performante.
- DOUDY Cases.
- Callaway Golf Clubs.
- Mansory on their custom parts and custom-built vehicles.
- More automotive manufacturers such as the likes of Porsche and Aston Martin are beginning to use the material on the interior of their cars.