A new report from Lux Research, Electric Vehicle Lightweighting 2030, analyzes the future of vehicle lightweighting and necessary BEV success factors over the next decade. Lightweighting has been a key tool for improving the fuel economy of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles over the past years. However, the transition from... Read more →


Teijin has joined the AZL Partner Network for Lightweight Production Technology, a cross-industry network for joint business development and technology development organized by service and engineering provider AZL Aachen GmbH and involving nine institutes and some 80 companies in the field of lightweight production. The network is launching one of... Read more →


Monash University engineers have demonstrated improvements in the fatigue life of high-strength aluminum alloys by 25 times—a significant outcome for the transport manufacturing industry. In an open-access paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers reported that the poor fatigue performance of high-strength aluminum alloys was because of weak links called... Read more →


Ford has selected ArcelorMittal’s Fortiform 980 GI (earlier post) as the sole source of third-generation advanced high-strength steel (Gen 3/HF) for the revitalized 2021 Ford Bronco. This highly anticipated vehicle will be the first automobile in the world to incorporate this grade of steel, which is made at AM/NS Calvert... Read more →


Teijin Limited is now introducing its mobility technologies and products to enterprise customers via Teijin Mobility Online. The site will enable customers and the company to stimulate creativities and explore innovation opportunities responding to the new normal lifestyle. Main exhibits include: The Teijin Group’s “PU_PA III” EV concept car. The... Read more →


The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR will tackle this year’s Nürburgring 24-hour race featuring a complete body kit made of natural-fiber composite materials for the first time. Since early 2019, Porsche manufactured the two doors and the rear wing of the small series racing vehicle out of a natural-fiber... Read more →


Nissan reports developing a new process that speeds up the development of car parts made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). Lightweight yet extremely strong, the material can be used to make cars that are safer and more fuel efficient. It can also lower a car’s center of gravity when... Read more →


Mafic USA and Materials Group partner to increase use of basalt fiber in automotive industry

Mafic USA and The Materials Group (TMG) have allied to increase the use of basalt fiber compounded into injection molded thermoplastics within the automotive industry. Mafic recently began operations at the world’s largest basalt fiber production facility in Shelby, NC. TMG, located in Rockford, MI, is a thermoplastics manufacturer, distributor... Read more →


A new survey conducted by DuckerFrontier finds that aluminum, already the fastest growing automotive material, is expected to grow to content levels of 514 pounds per vehicle (PPV) by 2026, up 12% from 2020 levels. Aluminum applications are classified into 2 categories (platform and component) and 13 groups. Platform Parts... Read more →


BASF and Toyota Motor North America Research & Development partnered on lightweighting with the new 2021 Toyota Sienna. The vehicle, scheduled to launch later this year, just won the prestigious Altair Enlighten Award for achievements in vehicle weight savings for reduced mass of the third row seat. In the previous... Read more →


New IACMI collaboration to develop advanced carbon fiber for hydrogen, natural gas storage tanks; $2.7M DOE award

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) will receive $2.7 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and validate technology that will reduce the cost of manufacturing high-performance carbon fiber by 25% to make composite natural gas or hydrogen fuel tanks to power cars and trucks.... Read more →


Borealis, a supplier of polyolefin plastic materials for engineering applications in the automotive industry, announced the availability of Fibremod, its innovative carbon and glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene (PP) technology, for the North American automotive market. The Fibremod family of products enables automotive manufacturers to achieve weight-saving and process cost-saving targets. In... Read more →


DOE announces $139M in funding for 55 projects to advance innovative vehicle technologies

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette announced $139 million in federal funding for 55 projects across the country that will support new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies (DE-FOA-0002197, earlier post). Funded through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), projects will conduct research... Read more →


Porsche already uses 3D printing technology in prototype construction, manufacturing spare parts for classic sports cars and in other areas. Now, in cooperation with its partners MAHLE and Trumpf, Porsche is now establishing a new milestone in the use of additive manufacturing processes for highly-stressed drive components. For the first... Read more →


Constellium SE signed a multi-year contract with Airbus. The new 10-year agreement supports all Airbus programs. Under this agreement, Constellium will supply Airbus with a broad range of advanced aluminum rolled and extruded products, including wing skin panels, sheets for fuselage panels, and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.... Read more →


Ten years after ArcelorMittal introduced the first S-in motion study for fuel-powered vehicles (earlier post), it is launching a new set of S-in motion solutions for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). To visualize the smart BEV steel solutions, an online 3D car configurator is now available. The configurator shows how ArcelorMittal’s... Read more →


Honda, like other automakers, has is focused on reducing the weight of its vehicle components, from body frames and engines down to the bolts. To achieve a reductive design, the structure and materials used in every part must be scrutinized. The latest target for Honda R&D is the crankshaft. Crankshafts... Read more →


In the US, Model Year (MY) 2018 vehicle fuel economy was 25.1 miles per gallon, 0.8% higher than the 24.9 miles per gallon MY 2017, according to the annual Automotive Trends Report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In model year 2018, the average estimated real-world CO2 emission... Read more →


The new BMW Aerodynamic Wheel is making its debut together with the BMW iX3, the market launch of which is planned for this year. The new combination of aluminum base wheel and individually designed inserts complements the efficient basic alignment of the BMW Group’s first purely electric Sport Activity Vehicle... Read more →


Teijin Limited will establish Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH (TACE) in Wuppertal, Germany in February as a new base for technical functions within the company’s automotive composite business. The company will handle concept, designing, prototyping, evaluations, marketing and technical research for next-generation automotive components, utilizing the Teijin Group’s capabilities to... Read more →


Following the production of first prototypes of battery enclosures for a Chinese automotive manufacturer in 2018, SGL Carbon has now received a substantial contract from a North American automaker for high-volume serial production of carbon and glass fiber-based composite top and bottom layers for battery enclosures. The serial production of... Read more →


A study by an international team of researchers warns that the global transition to global low-carbon energy technology could be at risk unless new international agreements and governance mechanisms are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals. Their paper is published in Science. Climate... Read more →


LeMond Carbon announced the results of an independent technical audit conducted by Bureau Veritas (BV) of its carbon fiber manufacturing process. The audit was conducted on a pilot line at Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus facility in Geelong, Australia. The total oxidation time and material properties verified by BV support LeMond’s... Read more →


Rio Tinto started the commissioning of industry-leading filter press technology at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Québec, Canada, six weeks ahead of plan and under its CAD $250-million budget. The new filter presses will deliver environmental benefits by moving the refinery to dry stacking of bauxite residue and extend the... Read more →


ArcelorMittal is adding to its family of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the auto industry with the development of Fortiform 980 Extragal (-GI) in North America. With the second generation of steels, body engineers had some limitations in using the higher strength grades for parts that play a role... Read more →


ORNL, University of Toledo to collaborate on advanced materials, manufacturing research for vehicle applications

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Toledo have entered into a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research into the advanced design and manufacturing of high-strength, intelligent, lightweight materials for use by the automotive sector. The partnership brings together the manufacturing, carbon fiber and... Read more →


In a joint project, BASF and STR Automotive have brought components for premium vehicles into series production for the first time using the new material Elastolit R 8819 Lightweight. In comparison to conventional processing with polyurethane reaction injection (PU-RRIM) materials, the new process provides significant weight reduction. The usual component... Read more →


Ascend Performance Materials will launch several new long-chain polyamides and high-temperature polyamides at K 2019 in Düsseldorf in October. Vydyne XHT, a new portfolio of heat-stabilized polyamide 66 and copolymers, is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to temperatures up to 230 ˚C. Using a combination of unique polymer chemistries and... Read more →


BASF and its partner BNP Brinkmann are supporting the the German Aerospace Center’s (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- and Raumfahrt/DLR) current research project “Next Generation Car” (NGC) with a tailormade, lightweight composite based on natural fiber. The goal of the DLR NGC project is to promote the development of quiet, low-emission... Read more →


Teijin Limited completed the acquisition of Benet Automotive s.r.o. (Benet), a leading automotive composite and component supplier in the Czech Republic, from Jet Investment. Teijin is targeting automotive composite business sales of approximately €1.7 billion (US$2 billion) by 2030. Teijin will benefit from Benet’s automotive composite technologies and its well-proven... Read more →


Researchers at MIT and the Ford Motor Company have found that depending on the location, lightweight conventional vehicles could have a lower lifecycle greenhouse gas impact than electric vehicles, at least in the near term. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Assessments of GHG... Read more →


BASF and Toray Advanced Composites sign supply agreement to bring CFRT tape to the automotive industry

Toray Advanced Composites and BASF signed a manufacturing and supply agreement focused on the production of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRT) tapes for the automotive and industrial markets. Toray Advanced Composites will produce high quality and affordable CFRT tapes using Ultramid engineering thermoplastics developed and produced by BASF. The fiber... Read more →


The CAR’s (Center for Automotive Research) Coalition for Automotive Lightweighting Materials (CALM) is a collaboration of more than thirty industry organizations working to support the cost-effective integration of mixed materials to achieve significant reductions in mass through the joint efforts of the material sectors and the auto manufacturers. CAR has... Read more →


Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated an advanced friction extrusion manufacturing process to produce nanostructured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder in a single step. Using a novel Solid Phase Processing (SPP) approach, the research team eliminated several steps that are required during conventional... Read more →


In a comprehensive joint study, Henkel and RLE International have examined and validated the potential of high-performance structural foam for lightweighting in automotive body and closure parts. The study has revealed that fiber-reinforced polymer components with structural foam ribbing and reinforcements can save more than 40 kg of weight per... Read more →


Russian researchers find simple, efficient way to strengthen aluminum-based composite materials

Scientists from the Russian National University of Science and Technology MISIS have doped aluminum melt with nickel and lanthanum to create a material combining benefits of both composite materials and standard alloys: flexibility, strength, lightness. A paper on their research is published in Materials Letters. Uniaxial tensile testing of the... Read more →


Teijin Limited announced that its Sereebo carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP) has been selected by General Motors (GM) for use in select pickup box applications. This is the first use of CFRTP for structural parts in a high-volume production vehicle. Sereebo will be used to manufacture the optional CarbonPro pickup... Read more →


Novelis Inc. has developed the first aluminum sheet battery enclosure solution to address customers’ needs in the rapidly growing electric vehicle and battery markets. Available globally, this design for next-generation automobiles provides a more sustainable mobility solution in battery electric vehicles, a market that is expected to more than triple... Read more →


The first prototype carbon fiber MonoCell, the tub that forms the main structure of McLaren’s cars, has been shipped from the company’s new £50-million (US$66-million) innovation and production center in Yorkshire to the McLaren Production center (MPC) in Woking, Surrey. Codenamed ‘PLT-MCTC - 01’—which stands for ‘Prototype Lightweight Tub, McLaren... Read more →


Williams Advanced Engineering has developed a pair of innovative technologies that promise a step-change in the affordability of composite materials. Known as 223 and Racetrak, these technologies offer comparable performance to existing composites solutions, but with a range of additional benefits, and at a cost that brings them within reach... Read more →


Teijin Limited’s automotive composites specialty groups have developed a multi-material composite automotive door concept that maintains required crash specifications while reducing overall weight by 35% when compared to a conventional steel door. A prototype of this unique approach, developed jointly by Teijin Composites Innovation Center (TCIC) and Continental Structural Plastics... Read more →


Naval Group and Centrale Nantes have printed the first demonstrator of hollow propeller blades by metal additive manufacturing as part of the European H2020 project, RAMSSES (Realization and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships). Funded by the European Commission, this collaborative program aims to reduce the... Read more →


A study by a team from the University of Toronto and Ford R&D in Dearborn has found that lightweighting is an effective solution that could provide important near-term GHG emission reductions especially during the next 10–20 years when the fleet is dominated by conventional powertrain vehicles. a) Annual US. light-duty... Read more →


Engineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a way to weld the super-strong but lightweight aluminum alloy known as AA 7075. Developed in the 1940s, AA 7075 long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it’s nearly as strong as steel... Read more →


Mazda Motor Corporation, working separately with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and JFE Steel Corporation, has developed the world’s first cold-stamped vehicle body parts made from 1,310 MPa-class high-strength steel. The parts are used in Mazda’s new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which will underpin upcoming models starting from the all-new Mazda3.... Read more →


Engineers seeking to significantly improve the efficiency and performance of electric motors could benefit from using aluminum matrix composites (AMCs), according to research from the Innovate UK ‘Make it Lighter with Less’ R&D competition. Metal Matrix Composites are metallic materials that have been reinforced with a secondary high-performance material. The... Read more →


AP&C—a GE Additive company— will begin production of aluminum alloy F357 powder in Q1 2019 with customer deliveries expected from April 2019. Aluminum F357 alloy is increasingly in demand from customers particularly from the aerospace and automotive sectors. It is known to have good weldability with high strength and toughness... Read more →


Novelis plans Customer Solution Centers to innovate alongside automotive customers

Novelis Inc., the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, plans to establish a global network of Customer Solution Centers (CSCs) to accelerate collaborative innovation between Novelis and automakers for the next generation of vehicle design. Novelis will work with OEMs to determine how to maximize lightweight, high-strength aluminum to... Read more →


TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading global developer and manufacturer of advanced composite materials, and Aston Martin announced a technical partnership for the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar program. Unveiled in March 2017 as the AM-RB (Aston Martin - Red Bull Racing) hypercar, and subsequently named Valkyrie, the mid-engined hypercar features a... Read more →


Carbon fibers have already beeen demonstrated as high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes, opening the way for their use as structural electrodes—i.e., simultaneously carrying mechanical load and storing electrical energy. Now, researchers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have linked the carbon fiber (CF) microstructure to the lithium insertion mechanism and... Read more →