Ford and Dow Team Up to Bring Low-Cost, High-Volume Carbon Fiber Composites to Next-Generation Vehicles

april 16 2012

Cutting the weight of new cars and trucks by up to 750 pounds by the end of the decade is a key component of Ford’s strategy to improve fuel efficiency. In order to help achieve that goal, Ford Motor Company is partnering with Dow Automotive Systems, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, to research the use of advanced carbon fiber composites in high-volume vehicles.

Ford is investigating a range of new materials, enhanced design processes and new manufacturing techniques that would enable automotive structures to meet increasingly stringent safety and quality standards while cutting weight.

Dow Automotive Systems and Ford have signed a joint development agreement that will see researchers from the two companies collaborate on several fronts. The development teams will focus on establishing an economical source of automotive-grade carbon fiber and develop component manufacturing methods for high-volume automotive applications. The joint development effort will also leverage work that The Dow Chemical Company has already begun through partnerships with Turkish carbon fiber manufacturer AKSA and the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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