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 Mobility and Aerospace
“We want to discover many more applications
for this unique metal.”
RODRIGO ARMADO
General Manager Automotive Materials Technology of CBMM
 CBMM’s roughly 300 customers worldwide are served by 2,000 employees, most of whom are based in Araxá. In addition to five regional subsidiaries and offices in Asia, Eu- rope, and North America, the company operates warehouses around the world to quickly meet the demand of its indus- trial buyers. This includes numerous suppliers in the auto- motive industry.
Niobium alloys are particularly beneficial in the structural components of cars and commercial vehicles. “Their strength and formability increases while their volume and weight de- crease,” says Amado. “This can enable a vehicle to be up to 20% lighter, which results in a noticeable drop in fuel consumption.” Occupant safety can also be improved, he adds, because niobi- um alloys are particularly effective at absorbing the energy of a crash. “For this reason, many vehicle manufacturers are already using niobium, though this is not widely known.”
CBMM wants to change that. The company wants to shift from being a pure raw material supplier to being a partner of its customers and working together with them to bring new applications of the metal to the market. As part of that ef-
38 Porsche Consulting The Magazine
fort, in 2015 the Brazilians initiated the Niobium Materials Technology Project, which has worked in concert with vehi- cle manufacturers and suppliers, material producers, and the science community to advance the use of niobium. Porsche Consulting has accompanied CBMM along this path—in the implementation of the innovation strategy and through its detailed knowledge of current mobility trends.
After all, there are many applications in the field of mo- bility just waiting to avail themselves of niobium. The metal enhances the magnetic properties of transformers and filters and thereby boosts the output of electrical drives. When used in batteries, it shortens charging times and enables them to withstand more charge and discharge cycles without sub- stantial capacity losses. “In our lab, we are working on pre- cisely such applications, but also on new alloys of niobium and other materials,” says Amado. For CBMM, it seems to be paying dividends to be expanding beyond the extraction and processing of the metal to tap new business fields.
One particularly tangible example of the use of niobium in new products is a bicycle that CBMM developed together
Lightweight construction:
With the help of niobium, the electric bike developed by CBMM and its partner EDG weighs just seventeen kilograms. Right: CBMM is a sponsor of the Formula
E racing series—which Porsche will join in 2019.




















































































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