REFILE-UPDATE 1-BMW to collaborate with Boeing on carbon fibre

Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:33am EST

* To pool know-how on carbon fibre manufacturing

* Research pact to explore recycling possibilities

* BMW, Boeing use carbon fibre in cars, aircraft

FRANKFURT, Dec 12 (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW and U.S. aircraft maker Boeing are to exchange information about making carbon fibre, an emerging battleground among auto and plane makers.

BMW said on Wednesday the two companies aimed to advance research for carbon fibre recycling and know-how about manufacturing and automation.

The deal intensifies competition between BMW and rival Volkswagen, which already has a collaboration deal with Boeing through its Italian sportscar unit Lamborghini.

Last year, BMW moved to extend its influence over carbon fibre manufacturer SGL Carbon after VW accumulated a stake in the company. BMW and SGL jointly built a new carbon fibre plant in Moses Lake, Washington.

Carbon fibre is 30 percent lighter than aluminium and 50 percent lighter than steel, a crucial advantage to help cut vehicle weight and carbon dioxide emissions.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is 50 percent made of carbon fibre material, and BMW plans to start selling vehicles with a carbon passenger cell late next year.

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