Lightweight Carbon Fiber Materials in Ford Vehicles
Fierce emissions restrictions and fuel economy standards are still a few years in the future, but they are definitely looming, and only a few automakers are making an attempt to become compliant before those laws are put in place and before those limitations stop them off from manufacturing their products. Among the select number of automakers is Ford. The company is making a push to reduce fuel consumption, and they recently teamed up with a company to help drop some pounds from the weight of their vehicles.
With the new partnership between Ford, The Dow Chemical Company and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş—a Turkish manufacturer of carbon fiber—the automaker will be bringing more carbon fiber to their vehicles. There is still no word on how much of the material will be used in the vehicles, but the goal is to produce more parts of carbon fiber, which is not only extremely lightweight, but cost effective as well.
Just this year, Ford proved just how effective cutting weight can really be. The aluminum Ford F-150 is now the most fuel-efficient gas-powered pickup on the market, and the biggest reason for its new-found efficiency is the lightweight body, which is roughly 700 pounds lighter than steel-built bodies of the past.
As we said, we’re still not quite sure just how “heavily” Ford plans to use carbon fiber in their vehicles, but there is a good chance that unlike the aluminum used in the F-150, the new material will be featured on all of the vehicles in the lineup. Other automakers have used carbon fiber for the hood and other body panels, and it is likely that Ford will head in a similar direction. Regardless of where they are used, we are bound to see more lightweight carbon fiber materials in Ford vehicles, and we couldn’t be any more excited.
When paired with the turbocharged EcoBoost engines that continue to find their way into just about every Ford vehicle, the aluminum, carbon fiber and other lightweight materials used in construction are sure to help increase the efficiency and reduce the emissions of every Ford offering in the lineup. As if that wasn’t enough, this technology is bound to make its way to market sooner rather than later to ensure that the entire family of Ford vehicles are compliant with the ever-increasing restrictions that we mentioned.
To learn more about the application of lightweight carbon fiber materials in Ford vehicles, we encourage you to check back here on the Matt Ford blog, as we will be sure to keep you updated with the latest.
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