Carbon-fiber bobsled may be worth its weight in Olympic gold


The U.S. team hasn't struck gold in the Olympics two-man bobsleigh event since 1936, but it might this year. If it does, the athletes will share some of the credit with Michael Scully, Creative Director at BMW DesignworksUSA (Newbury Park, CA), and a cadre of BMW engineers in Germany who designed the ultimate sledding machine.

Using computational fluid dynamics and other techniques typically used by automotive engineers to streamline design, a bobsled emerged with unique shape and weight characteristics that stayed within the strict guidelines of the international bobsled federation. Lighweighting, in the form of BMW's carbon-fiber laminating process, was brought to the mix, resulting in a light, rigid, and impact-resistant shell.
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