Ford and Dow studying carbon fiber composites in high-volume auto production

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: April 12, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Sustainability, Automotive, Design

DEARBORN, MICH. (April 12, 9:35 a.m. ET) — Ford Motor Co. is joining forces with Dow Chemical Co. to investigate ways to bring carbon fiber into high-volume auto production.

The research will combine the efforts from both companies to focus on ways to use the composite to reduce the weight of cars— part of the strategy by Dearborn-based Ford to take up to 750 pounds off the average vehicle.

“There are two ways to reduce energy use in vehicles: improving the conversion efficiency of fuels to motion and reducing the amount of work that powertrains need to do,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president of research and innovation in an April 12 press release.

Ford has already been focusing on the power end of that equation through its EcoBoost engine technology. With Midland, Mich.-based Down, the companies must look at material cost, faster processing than traditional carbon fiber molding and attachment methods to join composites and metal.

Carbon fiber is already in production in limited volumes on specialty cars. A cross-section of automakers – most notably Germany’s BMW AG – have invested in production and processing for carbon fiber to develop its use in the auto industry.

 “Reducing weight will benefit the efficiency of every Ford vehicle,” Mascarenas said. “However, it’s particularly critical to improving the range of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.”

The joint development will leverage work Dow has already started through existing partnerships with Turkish carbon fiber manufacturer Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii AS and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

If the research effort is successful, Ford could begin using carbon fiber components by the end of this decade, the companies said.


Comments

Ford and Dow studying carbon fiber composites in high-volume auto production

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: April 12, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

2014 sees modest sales increase, but profit decrease, for Dow Chemical

January 29, 2015 4:20 pm ET

Dow Chemical Co. delivered modest sales growth in 2014, but the firm's profit took a tumble.    More

Image

Resin prices continuing to tumble

January 29, 2015 2:24 pm ET

The ongoing slide in crude oil prices is taking commodity resin prices down as well.    More

Image

Lund adds to aftermarket auto products portfolio with buy of Bushwacker

January 29, 2015 2:49 pm ET

Lund International Inc. has expanded its portfolio of plastic aftermarket vehicle accessories by acquiring Bushwacker Inc.    More

Image

Materials firms look for stock rebound

January 29, 2015 1:52 pm ET

DuPont Co., A. Schulman Inc. and Rogers Corp. thrived amid the stock market chaos of 2014, but the other 12 publicly held materials firms tracked by P...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events