375 km/h with additive manufactured components

Bugatti relies on additive manufacturing for functional components. A water-cooled console is already being installed in series production.

2019/03/13 - At 1,500 hp and a speed of over 375 km/h, the components of a Bugatti Chiron must withstand extreme loads. Nevertheless, the super sports car is supposed to be built as light as possible. That’s why Bugatti utilizes selective laser melting for lightweighting, but also within the functional scope of its vehicles. According to the Lübeck-based company, a 3D-printed component is already produced in series on SLM Solutions machines.

A bench testing of a Bugatti brake caliper has been successfully completed. »Proof that additively produced metal components can cope with extreme strength, stiffness and temperature requirements at speeds of over 375 km/h with a braking force of 1.35g and brake disc temperatures up to 1,100°C«, says Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies at Bugatti. The caliper test showed that a tensile strength of 1,250 N/mm2 and a material density over 99.7% was achieved.

The component was manufactured in the aerospace alloy Ti6Al4V with Fraunhofer IAPT (formerly Laser Zentrum Nord) and Bionic Production AG on an SLM500. »We always strive for absolute perfection, stylistic as well as technical,« Götzke stated. The active spoiler bracket represents this combination, aiding the 1,500hp vehicle to reach speeds of 400 km/h in just 32.6 seconds and bringing it back to a stop in just nine seconds. The active rear spoiler can be adjusted in height and angle, supporting the sophisticated aerodynamics required.

Bugatti teamed with Siemens to optimize the bracket for production. Utilizing 3D printed titanium, the spoiler bracket was reduced by 5.4 kg, a weight reduction of 53%, yet increased rigidity while sacrificing no functional benefits, as SLM Solutions says.

bracket with integrated water cooling

A small bracket with integrated water cooling acts an active heat shield to boast a remarkable reduction in transferred heat. The motor bracket has been installed in all series vehicles. The Chiron, like its predecessor, the Veyron, has two separate water-cooling circuits. The high-temperature circuit is used to cool the 1,500hp W16 engine of the supercar, while the low-temperature circuit ensures that the intake charge cooling temperature remains suitably low. The bracket, which was manufactured in the alloy AlSi10Mg on an SLM280 Twin, was commissioned by SLM Solutions at Rolf Lenk Werkzeugbau GmbH. (we reported in detail)

The Volkswagen subsidiary Bugatti and SLM Solutions have been working together since early 2015. VW also 3D prints the components on SLM machines at the Audi locations in Ingolstadt and Györ with the objective of comparing the influencing factors of varying locations in regard to component quality.