Ford and DowAksa are speeding up joint research into developing high-volume manufacturing techniques for automotive-grade carbon fibre.
The two companies will be part of the recently announced institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, an organisation created by the U.S. government and part of a larger nationwide network of manufacturing innovation supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The mission of the institute along with Ford and DowAksa is to overcome the high costs and limited availability of carbon fibre, while developing a viable, high volume manufacturing process. The opportunity to be a part of the newly formed manufacturing innovation will hopefully accelerate the timeline to introduce carbon fibre composites into high volume applications.
Ford’s expertise in high-volume manufacturing, design and engineering complements DowAksa’s strength in producing materials that make up carbon composites to create parts much lighter than steel components but with no loss of strength. The company recently launched a new version of the GT supercar, which makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon fibre and aluminium.
Douglas Parks, DowAksa board member and a primary participant in the founding of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation said;
DowAksa’s technology and manufacturing expertise will help effectively overcome barriers to entry for the use of carbon fibre composites in high-volume automotive applications. The new institute provides a collaborative platform to accelerate our progress.
Ford and DowAksa are also working together to reduce the energy needed to produce carbon fibre components, cut the cost of raw materials and develop recycling processes.