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 Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, 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

Chicago City Council committee approves plastic bag ban

April 24, 2014 7:11 pm ET

Chicago is poised to become the next major U.S. city to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags after a City Council committee vote on April 24.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Simpsons go Lego, Pharrell Williams gets into recycled plastic

April 24, 2014 8:45 am ET

Lego has teamed up with "The Simpsons" for a special episode, we see the trends at the International Home + Housewares Show and musician Pharrell...    More

Image

PolyOne says new Shanghai center will ease collaboration across segments

April 24, 2014 2:34 pm ET

PolyOne Specialty Engineered Materials is opening an innovation Center in Shanghai's Jinqiao development zone that will serve as its new Asia Pacific ...    More

Injection molder Precision Plastics adding space, presses in Indiana

April 24, 2014 2:54 pm ET

Custom injection molder Precision Plastics Inc. is expanding its Columbia City, Ind., operation.    More

Interactive map aids polypropylene recycling efforts

April 24, 2014 1:34 pm ET

Folks interested in recycling polypropylene products now have a new tool at their disposal.    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events