The companies will also share simulations of carbon fiber manufacturing process and develop ideas for automating the manufacturing process.
“This collaboration agreement is a very important step forward in developing the use and end use of carbon fiber materials,” said Larry Schneider, Boeing’s vice president of product development for commercial airplanes. “It is especially important that we plan for the end of life of products made from carbon fiber.
“We want to look at ways to reclaim and reuse those materials to make new products.”
Schneider represented Boeing at the signing ceremony in Seattle.
“Boeing for us is a suitable partner for collaboration in the field of carbon fiber,” said Herbert Diees, a member of BMW’s development board. “Boeing has many years of extensive experience using carbon fiber in the field of aviation.”
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jet is made of 50 percent carbon fiber material and BMW is planning to sell vehicles containing a carbon passenger cell next year.
Last year, BMW opened a plant in Moses Lake, Wash. to produce carbon fiber parts for the 2013 i3 and i8 models.
Both Boeing and Northrop are partnering with Brazil-based firms to advance precision machining in the aerospace and defense sectors.