Rolf Ammann, Technical Consultant, Bossard Germany
"Smart fastening solutions and the luxury sports car"
The latest model from Porsche is the Porsche 918 Spyder. Featuring almost 900 hp, it accelerates to 200 km / h in 7.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 345 km / h. Yet another number is no less impressive. Thanks to a hybrid drive and lightweight carbon construction, this breakthrough in engineering uses only 3 liters of fuel for every 100 km, that‘s almost 80 mpg.
Expertise during the product development
Especially with high-tech projects, the overall productivity of the manufacturer depends greatly on how efficiently the company organizes its production processes. But that’s not all. One other factor is the productivity of upstream product development – and how quickly ideal solutions are found for problems that arise. This, of course, means that suppliers and partners have to be on the same page with the manufacturer and actively contribute their expertise during the product development phase. For challenging questions around the fastening technology Bossard is such a partner for the sports car manufacturer Porsche.
For example, about a year and half ago the R&D department at Porsche contacted us as part of a secret project. The engineers were looking for fastening solutions for an entirely new vehicle, which would be built largely with carbon components. Carbon is a very interesting material for automobile construction. It is very light but also very strong. Less weight means lower fuel consumption. However, carbon components are a hard nut to crack from the perspective of fastening technology. Carbon cannot be drilled, because drilling destroys the structure, weakening the material. For this reason, conventional fastening elements such as rivets, threaded inserts or press-in bolts cannot be used.
bigHead® for Carbon
Because the project was top secret, we only received the most essential information. However, that was enough for our developers to propose the ideal solution for Porsche’s problem: bigHead® components. As the name indicates, these nuts, bolts and sleeves have a large head, which enables the fastening components to be glued or laminated. This provided us with fixed screw locations which, compared to standard connections, would not break away or tear out and are quick and easy to attach. For Porsche it was also important that the lightweight carbon chassis remain structurally sound despite some 30 to 50 connection zones in order to fully exploit its structural strength.
I believe we can say with a great deal of pride that Bossard, has played a major role in ensuring that Porsche is at the head of the pack when it comes to fastening technology.