Liverpool-based Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) has developed the BAC Mono – the world’s first car to feature lightweight panels made with graphene composites. BAC worked with Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd on the trial of the car, which will incorporate graphene-enhanced carbon fiber in the Mono’s rear wheel arches.
The BAC Mono is a single-seater formula style car designed and manufactured using the latest racing technology. In addition to its new groundbreaking graphene application, it is also the world’s only road legal single-seater supercar. First launched in 2011, the BAC Mono made its official debut in Hong Kong in November 2015 in Hong Kong.
For the Mono, BAC and Haydale decided to focus on the rear wheel arches first in order because of their size and complexity, which allowed them to thoroughly test the graphene composites.
Graphene is created out of sheets of carbon just one atom thick. According to BAC, graphene is considerably lighter and stronger than standard carbon fiber. The company estimates that the use of graphene can reduce the weight of the vehicle by up to 20 percent, and is 200 times stronger than steel.
Ebby Shahidi, Haydale Composite Solutions’ director of aerospace and defense said: “These initial materials have shown some major increases in impact and thermal performance coupled with improved surface finish, and it’s pleasing to see these attributes being demonstrated on such a high-performance vehicle as the Mono.”
The new BAC Mono, complete with graphene panels, was showcased for the first time at the Science in the City festival in Manchester, UK, July 22-29. According to Autocar, the car is still undergoing tests, but BAC is “seriously considering the introduction of graphene parts as an option for customers in the future.”