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Old 04-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Ford Plans Carbon Fiber Future to Help Shed Up to 750 Pounds Per Car




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Already several years into a switch to more efficient EcoBoost engines, the next big move for the Ford Motor Company in the fight to reach increasingly strict fuel economy targets is to significantly reduce the weight of its vehicles.

To help meet those goals the American automaker has today announced a partnership with Dow Automotive Systems to develop low cost, light weight carbon fiber vehicle components.

The goal, says Ford, is to help shed as much as 750 pounds per vehicle by the end of the decade. While carbon fiber is used by a few smaller automakers or in limited production vehicles, Ford’s plan is to integrate the light-weight yet ultra-strong material into its mainstream volume products.
“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 VP of Research and Innovation. “Ford is tackling the conversion problem primarily through downsizing engines with EcoBoost and electrification while mass reduction and improved aerodynamics are keys to reducing the workload.”

Reducing weight, says Florian Schattenmann, head of R&D for Dow Automotive Systems, is, “particularly critical to improving the range of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.”

Ford and Dow will work together to create an affordable way to source carbon fiber as well as a low cost method to integrate it into volume vehicles.

If successful, the use of carbon fiber components on volume cars like the Focus, Fusion and Mustang could happen by the end of the decade.
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...s-per-car.html
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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I hope future owners all have garages... Fun idea, but who knows how well it'll end up in practice.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #3
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As consumers and the government have continued to demand increased safety the weight of vehicles has constantly gone up. Even with smaller, more fuel efficient engines you can't keep solely improving engine technology if weights will keep increasing. I'm glad that someone is finally looking at ways of decreasing vehicle weight in addition to their engine efficiency efforts.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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I've had little to no interest in ever owning a mustang, but a 750lb lighter one would tempt even me.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #5
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There will be a large cost to all this Carbon Fiber, Aluminum and advanced plastics. Hard to cut off 750 lbs. and keep same size car. Lamborghini Aventador going to full carbon fiber tub only cut 300lbs from that car.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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"This just in automakers can use aluminum to shed lots of weight and improve efficiency at low cost, plus no rust..."

"This just in automakers can use carbon fiber to shed lots of weight and improve efficiency at low cost, plus no rust..."

Someday over the rainbow.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Actually nobody is yelling at the government to build safer vehicles. Not one single person is picketing washington DC to get safer cars built. Most safety regulations we currently have are knee jerk reactions to a highly publicized statistically insignificant accident.

Things like safety belts are great. I would support them. 16 air bags and lane departure warnings and auto cruise control systems are crap nobody ever asked for. But they were used as leverage to get people terrified of driving to buy a rolling air bag on wheels.

The government is responsible for most of the weight gain on vehicles, now like most short sighted legislation, now they are demanding better mpg. Unintended consequences of stupid requirements end up costing a fortune to fix.

Weight and aero are the last hopes for fuel efficiency.

Personally, I would love to see the weight of cars drop back to 80's levels.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Actually nobody is yelling at the government to build safer vehicles. Not one single person is picketing washington DC to get safer cars built. Most safety regulations we currently have are knee jerk reactions to a highly publicized statistically insignificant accident.
The IIHS has the most influence of vehicles meeting more stringent safety requirements. The insurance institute doesn't want your legs getting turned into pretzels if you get tboned by another car. They're a very powerful lobbying group and they have all the network TV stations at their disposal to show just how poorly a car or truck does in an offset crash at 30 mph.

So, it's part political and part financial as it saves the insurance industry money if they can simply total a car and have all the passengers walk away, as opposed to having a fender bender turning into years of rehab, doctors appointments etc.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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Let’s stay on target..Ford wants to use CF to make vehicles lighter, Yay Ford! 3,000lb Mustang with a turbo V-6, yay Ford! Let’s try not to go into politics with every thread on here.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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I am all for it 1st code, but I pray that we will not get a 3000 lb mustang that costs 55000 dollars
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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I shudder at the re-cycling prospect of all that carbon fiber at the end of the vehicles life.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ping View Post
I shudder at the re-cycling prospect of all that carbon fiber at the end of the vehicles life.
It seems to me that aluminum would not have that problem either, but I guess it doesn't seem snazy enough plus Ford already got paid to investigate aluminum intensive vehicles once so they cannot milk it again.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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Shed 750 pounds??!!! Really, Ford? Looks like they're going to use plenty of carbon fiber to replace the 750 pounds of weight materials.
I wonder how much the cars is going to cost us. Looks like everyone is downsizing their cars which is good.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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CF alone won't do that.

Structural changes, feature deletes, less wiring, and perhaps even a base model with less power and thus thinner/smaller components for a lower base weight on the base model.

And with CF involved, the price will probably go up, rather than down.

And just because this is a press release today, doesn't mean the results will bear out.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #15
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How about less government mandated safety equipment. There's 750lbs right there.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #16
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How about less government mandated safety equipment. There's 750lbs right there.
Until you are hit my a soccer mom texting in her Yukon. Then the safety might matter.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
It seems to me that aluminum would not have that problem either, but I guess it doesn't seem snazy enough plus Ford already got paid to investigate aluminum intensive vehicles once so they cannot milk it again.
There is a lot less aluminum produced domestically then there was up to about 2000. As a result, the market fluctuates all over now. CF offers a cost effective solution. We will never get AL production back and CF is not as energy intensive anyway so it had possibilities.

Peace,

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Old 04-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest

Until you are hit my a soccer mom texting in her Yukon. Then the safety might matter.
Piss on that I will not let my life be controlled by the lowest common denominator. You can't keep building the walls higher to keep the stupid people out, as eventually you cannot see the sun
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b4wantab View Post
There is a lot less aluminum produced domestically then there was up to about 2000. As a result, the market fluctuates all over now. CF offers a cost effective solution. We will never get AL production back and CF is not as energy intensive anyway so it had possibilities.

Peace,

Greg
Have you seen how much Aluminum is recycled though? It is not nearly as energy intensive if you are recycling instead of starting with bauxite. Last I looked the amount of recycled Al at alcoa was huge. Anyway it doesn't matter where things come from so much if you can recycle them once you have the materials .
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:40 PM   #20
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It would make for a very quick and fast Mustang that is for sure!
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Piss on that I will not let my life be controlled by the lowest common denominator. You can't keep building the walls higher to keep the stupid people out, as eventually you cannot see the sun
Can't say I agree, at all.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:20 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Have you seen how much Aluminum is recycled though? It is not nearly as energy intensive if you are recycling instead of starting with bauxite. Last I looked the amount of recycled Al at alcoa was huge. Anyway it doesn't matter where things come from so much if you can recycle them once you have the materials .
I will agree with that. But, keep in mind the chemicals used to alloy also. Everyone wants that stuff in someone else's backyard. I just don't see domestic production ever getting back to the '80-'90 levels and the price stabilizing.

CF will make sense.

Peace,

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Old 04-13-2012, 09:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b4wantab View Post
There is a lot less aluminum produced domestically then there was up to about 2000. As a result, the market fluctuates all over now. CF offers a cost effective solution. We will never get AL production back and CF is not as energy intensive anyway so it had possibilities.

Peace,

Greg
I think the biggest problem with aluminum is not material cost, but manufacturing cost. Strong alloys don't form or weld like steel. Also, Al is a bitch to repair, just look at the cost of repairing an NSX or Audi A8.

CF has some of the same problems, but at least you can RTM the stuff.

Aren't Toyota and BMW also making noises just like Ford? What are the front fenders on e90/e92 Bimmers made from? I know they're composite.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #24
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Can't say I agree, at all.
I

am

shocked

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Old 04-13-2012, 10:36 AM   #25
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Automated CF shaping and production can actually be quite cost effective, so I can see why Ford is looking down this path.

A lot of domestics use heavy iron/steel alloys so I can see this saving more weight there vs their imported counterparts who tend to be significantly lighter already.

What happened to BMW shaving 500 lbs of every model?
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