M ith the new brake caliper, Bugatti is showing new innovations in two areas. For the first time, the Bugatti developers have succeeded in designing a brake caliper that is manufactured using 3D printing.
Titanium saves 40% in weight
The choice of material is also unusual. While aluminum has so far been mainly used for the additive manufacturing of vehicle parts, this new brake caliper is made of titanium. This is the world's largest functional component made of titanium using the 3D printing process. During the development of this 3D printing, Bugatti worked with the Hamburg-based Laser Zentrum Nord, which has been part of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft since the beginning of the year.
The material titanium is much more efficient than aluminum. For example, its tensile strength even as a 3D printed component is 1,250 N /mm2, which means that you can pull a square millimeter of this titanium alloy with a little more than 125 kg without the material tearing. The new titanium brake caliper is 41 cm long, 21 cm wide, 13.6 cm high and weighs just 2.9 kg. The aluminum component currently used on the Chiron weighs 4.9 kg. On the other hand, titanium is very difficult to machine, forge or mill. The newly developed 3D printer with selective laser beam melting offers the best production conditions.
Production takes a total of 56 hours
The special 3D printer in the North Laser Center, the world's largest for titanium at the start of the project suitable system, has four lasers with a power of 400 watts each.
It takes a total of 45 hours to print a brake caliper. During this time, titanium powder is applied layer by layer. With each layer, the four lasers melt the titanium powder according to the specified shape of the brake caliper. The material cools immediately, the brake caliper takes shape. A total of 2,213 layers are required. The brake caliper then undergoes a stabilizing heat treatment in order to achieve its final strength. The functional surfaces are then machined using a milling cutter. This process takes eleven hours. The production and post-processing times should, however, decrease significantly.
The vehicle tests for series use of the 3D titanium brake caliper should start in the first half of 2018.