Lightest Components (“LC”) was registered in Bulgaria in 2011 with a mission is to conduct R&D in the field of metallurgy and carbon fiber -- new lightweight materials for motorsports and the automotive industry and for aerospace. LC collaborates closely with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (“BAS”) and with a number of leading research Institutes in Russia, Latvia, Germany, Italy. Among other working relationships, Lightest Components has a contract with F1 division of Groupe Renault to develop and produce several components for the F1 Team. Lightest Components has qualified through all the required certifications and homologation and holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 Certificates.
LC is implementing several important R&D projects with high growth potential. One of such projects is to create new super-material, graphene-reinforced magnesium MMC. The DC cast billets will be extruded into bars, then drawn into wire – to be deployed for additive manufacturing. The AM process is being tested with Fraunhofer Institute in Dresden. Another concept to be tested for possible development is to consolidate graphene powder with magnesium powder in a more standard AM process. The Company has been performing applied research testing on the process of compacting nano-structured micro-crystalline alloys in order to obtain real size products at maximum preservation and enhancement of the ultra- granular structure. Innovative technology includes successfully impregnating MMC particles to strengthen the properties of light alloys. LC has also been successfully developing very advanced anodizing process for superior surface protection of magnesium components.
Capitalizing on clearly defined market requirements, Lightest Components has channeled its efforts toward developing high-tech automotive wheels for sports and tuning applications. The company holds registered intellectual property in this field. LC’s mission is to affordably deliver the highest quality metallurgical products, such as state of the art wheels and other components – thus facilitating theultimate driving performance and improved safety (shorter braking distance and reduced risk of tire failure) along with a positive environmental impact. Beyond motorsports, wide-scale applications are to be achieved in the automotive industry, as well as aerospace and rail industries.
Prototypes of magnesium wheels with improved characteristics were developed, integrating technologies applied in high-tech motorsports applications, such as Formula 1 and MotoGP. The prototypes represent aclear improvement in characteristics over any such similar exemplars available around the world. Based on testing results, market research analysis, business and risk/benefit assessment, the Company has developed the strategy to scale production for certain market applications, for which clear advantages are evident.
In 2016 LC has initiated the AeroFML project, jointly with SMW Engineering, the world-leading manufacturer of wrought magnesium components and large-sized forgings of specialty aluminium and titanium alloys. The two companies also jointly own Magnesiumcom OU, an Estonian company (www.magnesium.com).
The Company’s long-term plans include not only modernizing the production process of specific components, but also increasing its efficiency by introducing ECO-innovation, i.e. product design consistent with 2020 environmental requirements. Introduction of environmental management method and auditing (EMAS) will improve energy efficiency of the manufacturing process.