We’ve all used vinyl with simulated carbon-fiber patterns on the face, but Lamborghini recently developed and patented the real thing. CarbonSkin, a new carbon-composite material that’s both lightweight and pliable, debuts for the first time in the Aventador J roadster.
Industry insiders are hailing the new fabric as a game changer. Composites World explains:
Reportedly, the material is made of woven carbon fibers (in a 2×2 twill pattern) that have been soaked in a specially formulated resin. Described as an “entirely new impregnation system” not previously used in the market, the resin stabilizes the fiber structure after it is cured, yielding a composite that remains strong yet soft and flexible. Although it is not breathable in its current format, the resulting matte fabric is said to have excellent drape and hand (a soft feel to the touch) and conforms to a wide variety of contours.
Asked about the future of this new material, Luciano De Oto, chief of the Lamborghini Advanced Composite Research Center (ACRC), says, “You can imagine all the uses in applications that require flexible, light and strong materials,” noting that beyond auto trim upholstery, other possible uses include high-end clothing and luggage. De Oto also says the new CarbonSkin fabrics have passed Lamborghini’s wear and aging tests and actually contribute to absorbing deformations made by a seat occupant’s back and head. “For sure, this material is a step forward in the standard conception of automotive interiors,” he adds. [more]
CarbonSkin currently adorns the Aventador J’s seats, door panels, center console and instrument panel. There’s no word yet on whether any of Lamborghini’s other models will feature the material – or when it will be made available to auto upholstery shops.