Plastic Auto Parts: BMW i3 Tour of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Body in White and Crumple Zone Physics
This new blog post showcases an exclusive video that highlights automotive lightweighting and the dynamic front-end vectoring technology of the crumple zone used in the fully electric BMW i3.
Revolutionizing Clean Energy Technology with Advanced Composites
Learn more about advanced composites by watching this video from Energy.gov.
Students in Singapore Use 3D Printing to Create a Pair of Solar Powered Vehicles
They’re called the the NTU Venture 8 and NTU Venture 9, and they’re a pair of student-designed project vehicles mounted on carbon fiber chassis structures which make use of solar power and 3D printing.
Energy Secretary Moniz Unveils More Than $55 Million to Advance Fuel Efficient Vehicle Technologies
The funding opportunity will go towards a wide range of research, development, and demonstration projects that aim to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles.
Design Student Shows What 3D Printing Can Do for the Auto Industry
The automobile industry is in the midst of what may be the biggest shakeup in its 130 year history.
Viewpoint: Detroit Is the New Silicon Valley of Auto Innovation
Auto companies are revolutionizing the industry with 3D printing, connected-car systems and an array of new smart technologies.
Lighter Is Better!
A little more than half of the structure is made of composite materials such as plastic reinforced by carbon fibers.
Coming Soon To National Harbor: 3-D Printed Cars
3-D printed cars are coming to National Harbor proving that the Maryland waterfront really is becoming a giant adult playground.
For Shelby Cobra Roadster's 50th, Designers 3D Print a Working Replica
Cobra update: it's a roadster, not a convertible. And its made by a 3D printer from plastic/carbon fiber pellets.
Local Motors Just 3D-Printed a Car Live at an Auto Show
Local Motors is building the Strati right on the floor of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with printing and routing equipment that it brought in just for the occasion.
The Weird and Wonderful Cars of CES 2015
The annual gathering of tech companies in Las Vegas isn't focused on cars, but this year automobile tech seemed to take over the event.
CES Live: Mercedes-Benz 015 Luxury in Motion Concept
The F 015 is nearly 40 percent lighter than a comparably-sized production vehicle thanks to the widespread use of lightweight materials like carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastics, aluminum and high-strength steel.
Economies of Scale Will Shape Costs for Carbon Fiber Globally
A new report suggests that Asia-Pacific is the most promising carbon fiber market.
Dual Tracks to Automotive Lightweighting
In this video, John McElroy (the host of Autoline Daily) offers his views on the future of plastics in the automotive industry.
A Plastic/Composite Car in Every Driveway?
Based on research and development by automakers, plastics makers, and the government, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) now appears headed toward mainstream use in the family car. carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.
Plastics Printer Used to Manufacture Small Production Electric Scooter
Facing increasing congestion in city centers, urban mobility is in need of transformation. The challenge is not just to find something that is eco-friendly and easy to use but also adaptable to individual needs and can be shared between users.
See HD Close-Ups of the New 3-D Printed Carbon Fiber Plastic Car Here
Local Motor’s 3-D Printed Car Visits Washington, DC.
Plastics Will Help Maintain Safety While Lightweighting Autonomous Vehicles
IDEO imagines the wild future of self-driving cars.
See How Designs of the Future Car Will Need Plastic Malleability
This 21-year old is painting the most insane sci-fi vehicles on the planet.
Plastics Help Designs Not Done Yet
For the 11th annual edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, five vehicle manufacturer design studios were invited to imagine a future connected vehicle.
Plastics and Composites Are Reshaping Car Design, IHS Report Shows
Automotive plastics are here to stay, and IHS Automotive has the figures to prove it.
Rinspeed sQuba Submarine Car
Plastics help enable underwater bond car.
When to Do an LCA
As the environmental, social and economic impacts of a product over its entire life cycle receive increased attention, many companies are wondering about conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA). Should they conduct an LCA? And if so, when and how?
Carbon Fiber Plastic Composites Used on New Visio Similar to BMW i3
One key to Visio.M’s high energy efficiency is its light weight; without the battery, Visio.M weighs only 992 lbs. The passenger compartment consists of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, while aluminum is used in the front, rear and room frame. All windows are made of LEXAN resin, a polycarbonate (PC) material, and coating technologies from SABIC.
WSJ Interview: Public Rates Efficiency Higher than Safety
Americans rate fuel efficiency as their #1 priority ahead of even safety and cost, underscoring growing frustrations over high gas prices.
10 Ways the Car Is Becoming More Than a Vehicle
Cars are in the midst of the most profound transformation in the past 100 years. And that change is only accelerating.
Plastic Composite Leaf Spring Replaces Rear Coils - Creates Room in Volvo XC90
Already a permanent feature of automotive engineering, lightweight construction methods continue to steadily gain in importance.
What Will YOU Print on YOUR Car's Seats?
Johnson Controls is working on a production process to personalize interiors that is entirely new in automotive production: an inkjet process for seat covers.
The Future is Still Plastics - Maybe More Than Ever
In the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” the title character got this career advice: just one word...plastics.
New Super-Combo Glass and Carbon Fiber Resin: Less Cost and Hardly a Performance Hit
PlastiComp, Inc., a global leader in long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies, has developed an innovative set of hybrid thermoplastic composites that combine long glass fiber and long carbon fiber reinforcement together in a single, ready-to-mold composite pellet.
Washington Post Blog: A Working Car Has Been 3D-Printed Out of Carbon Fiber Plastic
The Strati took 44 hours to make, and it's completely driveable. And it just might be the future of automotive technology everywhere.
World’s First 3D Printed Car Took Years to Design, But Only 44 Hours to Print
Printed in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic or ABS, the finished Strati can drive at speeds up to 40 mph and can travel 120 miles on a single charge.
Plastic Carbon Fiber Car Printed in a Week Drives Off Show Floor
"Strati", the Italian word for "layers", is the name of the first 3D printed electric car, made in Chicago.
Plastics-car.com Member Provides Carbon Fiber Plastic Materials For First Thermally Printed Car
SABIC delivered the materials and processing expertise needed to create a first-of-its-kind concept vehicle using advanced 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) during the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this week.
Print, Assemble, Drive: The 3-D Printed Plastic Car
The printer is the world's first large-scale 3-D printer that works with polymers.
Plastic Cars Are the Future
Combine the plastic technologies with cars run on renewable energy and we can begin to forget the pollution caused by petrol engines.
DOE Awards $55 Million for Advanced Efficient Vehicles, Great News for Predictive Engineering
The Energy Department announced more than $55 million for 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.
Carbon Fiber Keeping Formula One Drivers Safe
Things like carbon fiber splinters don’t injure the drive in the event of a crash.
New Dutch 700 Pound Electric Car Debuts
Called MK1, Carice's latest creation takes the form of a tiny two-seater roadster whose design pays homage to the iconic Porsche 356.
54.5 MPG? Automakers Are on Track Says Consumer Federation
The advent of new lightweight materials including carbon-reinforced plastics and strong-but-light metal alloys will help.
Demand For Lightweight Automotive Materials in NA to Reach 22.3 Billion Pounds
Demand for lightweight automotive materials in the North American light vehicle market is anticipated to rise 5.2 percent annually to 22.3 billion pounds in 2018.
Demand for Lightweight Automotive Materials in North America to Continue to Rise
The demand for polymers and composites in the North American automotive market has risen from 5235 million pounds in 2008 to 7135 million pounds. This is predicted to rise to 8020 million pounds by 2018.
Tougher Than Steel — Carbon Fiber Conquers Car World
BMW is leading the way with its innovative i3 runabout, showing that it is possible to build a compact city car using a high-tech material like carbon fibre without sending production costs through the roof.
Aluminum Producers Rush to Jump Into the Auto Industry
While giant producers of the light metal like Alcoa and Novelis tried unsuccessfully for decades to lure automakers to give up the steel in favor of the way lighter material, it’s just now that their efforts could bear fruit.
A 3D-Printed Car Is Coming That Stretches the Boundaries of Design
Local Motors has been building cars with the help of community-submitted part designs for years now, but this September, it has far more ambitious plans: creating a working, 3D-printed electric vehicle, also based on a design by someone from its community.
Ford Unveils Ultra-Lightweight Fusion Concept Car
The car's wheels and seats are carbon fiber...while the rear window is plastic.
Polymer Composites Are Heading From the Racetrack to Main Street
The new BMWi car series is the most recent evidence that plastics and polymer composites, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics, are bridging the material divide between high-performance racecars and passenger vehicles.
Google’s New Self-Driving Car: Electric, No Steering Wheel, and Incredibly Cute
The plan is to build around 200 of the mostly-plastic cars over the next year, with road testing probably restricted to California for the next year or two.
The Concept Cars That Helped Shape the Future
Exhibit in Atlanta features 17 of the most innovative 'Dream Cars' ever made.
Polyurethane Helps Auto Industry Meet Lightweighting Goals
Polyurethane foam offers high performance over a wide range of firmness while adding only nominal weight to the car overall.
Detroit Auto Show Recap: Automobile Lightweighting on Autoline.tv
At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, John McElroy, host of Autoline.tv, moderated several panels as part of the Autoline Supplier Symposium event.
Plastics Continue to Point the Way Forward for Auto Industry
More demonstration of the capabilities of plastics and polymer composites is needed to expand the use of those materials in automotive applications, according to a new roadmap from the American Chemistry Council’s plastics division.
Plastics Makers Release Roadmap to Assist Automakers
At the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2014 World Congress & Exhibition in Detroit, the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division released an updated roadmap that will help automakers and their suppliers dramatically enhance fuel efficiency in vehicles through the adoption of plastics and polymer composites to achieve significant weight reductions.
Automotive’s Unique and Special Time
Find out what advances in technology mean for auto’s future.
Plastics Makers Announce Strategic Framework to Help Automakers, Suppliers Achieve Fuel Efficiency Standards through Vehicle Lightweighting
The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division released an updated roadmap that will help automakers and their suppliers dramatically enhance fuel efficiency in vehicles through the adoption of plastics and polymer composites to achieve significant weight reductions.
This Million-Dollar Carbon Fiber Trailer Is a Rolling Mansion
So how do you make an RV that tips into 7 figures? With Dallara’s help, Indiana-based Global Caravan Technologies built the CR-1 Carbon almost entirely out of–you guessed it–carbon fiber.
Magna to Manufacture Carbon Fiber Composite Body Panels
Says Tom Pilette, vice president of product and process development for Magna Exteriors: “By continuing to develop vehicle parts and systems with cutting-edge materials, we are able to assist our customers meet fuel economy and emissions standards for their cars and trucks.”
The Revolution: How Injection Molded Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Will Be an Auto Industry Game Changer
Just imagine the possibilities for automakers working to produce stronger, lighter cars of the future if carbon fiber were infused in injection moldable plastics to the same extent glass fibers are today!
The Germans Have Figured Out How to 3-D Print Cars
EDAG’s robot built the Genesis concept by creating a thermoplastic model of the complex interior, although the company says they could use carbon fiber to make the structure both stronger and lighter.
EPA Official: Only 5% of Vehicles Sold Meet Government's 2025 Fuel Economy Standards
Automakers have a long road ahead of them regarding the U.S. government’s 2025 fuel economy standards.
Better Mileage from New Fuel-Efficiency Norm
The government's new fuel-efficiency guidelines for passenger vehicles will not push up cost of cars substantially, at least in the first stage that will kick in from April 2016.
Visiongain Offers New Automotive Report
The comprehensive report examines the state of the automotive composites market through 2024 and includes a broad range of supplier companies.
Carbon & Fiberglass Composite Compound Is Cheaper
For semi-structural and some structural parts in a car, carbon fiber compression molding compounds work well, and are faster to produce than the autoclave-dependent advanced materials. They're still pricey, though. One way to lower that price is by combining them intelligently with other fibers, like glass.
A Fuel-Efficient Big Rig From Walmart That Looks Like a Smushed Corvette
The cab might look like it ran over the back half of a Corvette, but that low profile shape makes it 20 percent more aerodynamic than your standard rig. It’s towing the world’s first 53-foot carbon fiber trailer.
The Car That Runs On Air
For more than a century, air cars have remained a quixotic quest of engineers—an idealistic exercise with little long-term likelihood of entering mass production.
BMW To Offer Carbon Fiber Wheels In a Year or Two
BMW could be the first OEM to offer entire wheels in carbon fiber reinforced plastic in two years.
Carbon Fibre and Cars-2013 In Review
2013 was another big year in automotive composites.
Detroit Auto Show: Automakers Push Weight Loss to Promote Fuel Efficiency
Lightweight and luxury are watchwords at the 2014 North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center.
Auto Execs: US MPG Standars Within Reach, But May Change
Changes in the U.S. political climate or consumer tastes may force a revision of federal standards that require automakers to nearly double the overall gas mileage of their cars and trucks by 2025.
The Best Of The 2014 Detroit Auto Show
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the level of exuberance seemed more amped up than in previous years—automakers are throwing it all against the wall to see what awesomeness sticks.
Ford's F-150 Gets New Look Thanks to Plastics
The all-LED headlight includes a light pipe around the lamp, which sets off the all-plastic system and makes the F-150 look like no other truck on the market, even in the dark.
Lightweighting in Cars: One Weird Chart That Should Convince Auto Makers
With strict government CAFE standards requiring higher efficiency vehicles by 2025, choosing the right materials for automotive car parts is more important than ever.
High Tech Car Door
Driving a car with disappearing doors will definitely grab everyone's attention.
10 Most Powerful Women in Autos
A century after Henry Ford revolutionized the auto world, it's still an old boys club. But these 10 women are leading the way in an industry overdue for change.
Plastics Make It Possible® Launches Holiday Auto Travel Poll With Chance to Win $500
Answer a few questions about auto travel while learning how plastics make possible many advances in today’s autos—and enter for a chance to win one of two $500 gift cards.
Uniqueco Working on Rugged 4x4 and Multipurpose Vehicle Built From Plastic
The company has designed two different models that use lightweight construction centered around plastic shells.
Graphene Could Boost Natural Gas-Powered Cars
The researchers were able to combine plastic and graphene to create a plastic tank capable of holding natural gas. Lighter plastic tanks could make cars more efficient by lowering the amount of fuel they need.
2013 SRT Viper Carbon Fiber X-Brace
The single-piece, all Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) X-Brace, an important structural component of the body system, was developed from lightweight carbon fiber material to maximize weight reduction and meet performance targets.
The World’s Most Hardcore Sports Car Gets Its First Update in 60 Years
The body has been shaped in the wind tunnel by its Formula 1 team and is comprised entirely of carbon fiber.
Audi: Carbon Fiber Too Expensive; Future Is In Mixing Materials
The process with the slowest speed is defining the frequency of production, Hackenberg explained, so the solution is to bring in production methods that allow lighter materials to be used selectively in combination with others that can keep costs down.
Making a Material Difference in the U.S. Automotive Industry
LANXESS is one of the chemistry companies making a material difference in the automotive industry through high-tech plastics used to lighten vehicles and synthetic rubber blends and additives for tires that have less rolling resistance.
Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Is on the Rise, Thanks in Large Part to Chemistry
Plastics, which make up 50 percent of the volume of cars but only 10 percent of the weight, help to make cars lighter and more fuel efficient and resulting in fewer CO2 emissions.
Survey: Fuel Efficiency a Top Concern of Automotive Engineers
In its annual survey of auto industry insiders, DuPont Co. and WardsAuto found that only 8 percent of the respondents expected regulations would relax, compared to nearly half—47 percent—anticipating requirements would strengthen further.
BMW Electric Car Will Offer Gas Generator to Boost Range
The i3 stands out because its main body, called the passenger cell, is made of plastic. This isn’t ordinary plastic, but carbon fiber reinforced plastic or CFRP, which BMW said is as strong as steel but weighs half as much.
BMW Dishes on "Lightweight" 2014 M4
The philosophy will be around delivering performance through improved use of materials—lightweight alloys, lots of carbon fibre etc—rather than simply trying to make the engine more powerful to move the same kind of car, or scaling it back too far so that it loses its M3 roots.
DuPont Hails Automotive Thermoplastic Composites
One of the key research directions is the reduction of vehicle mass, with the goal of reducing total weight by at least 200 kg between 2020 and 2025.
Continuous-Fiber Laminate/Overmolding Compound Combination to Further Plastic Penetration in Auto
Thermoplastic materials, with both short- and long-fiber reinforcement, have made a major contribution to lightweighting.
Driving Volkswagen's 261 MPG Car Is Like Driving The Future
There's carbon fiber everywhere...it has carbon-ceramic brake discs and pads, polycarbonate windows and a magnesium clutch. This was a project not many could have pulled off apart from Volkswagen, and even they had to think about it for quite a while.
Mazda: Revamped 2014 Mazada3 to Lead Compact Segment in MPG
Mazda Motor Corp.'s next-generation Mazda3, equipped with its full set of technologies developed to reduce weight and enhance fuel efficiency, will top the compact segment in fuel economy when it goes on sale in the United States in September, the automaker said today.
Plastic Oil Sumps Offer Further Lightweighting Options
Engineering plastics suppliers have uncovered another application where their offerings can substitute heavier incumbent metal technology as evidenced by two recent developments that assist auto and truck makers in improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.
Thermoplastic Composites Closer to Mass Production
A collaborative project between DuPont and Citroën has brought the use of structural thermoplastic composite parts a step closer to mass production.
Focus3D Printing May Increase Detroit's Demand for Petchem Plastics
Through a process called rapid prototyping that uses 3D printers to produce prototype parts from plastic resins, General Motors is turning around upgrades that are cheaper and quicker to make for products such as dashboards, centre consoles and other interior parts.
Lightweight Materials, Alternative Fuels And 58 MPG 30 Years Ago? Volvo Did It
Different types of plastic, magnesium and aluminum were extensively used throughout the design, both from a weight perspective and for recycling reasons and future availability.
New Very Light Car Unveiled
Edison2, the winner of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, recently unveiled its latest Very Light Car (VLC) architecture at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept: Design Gallery
The TT ultra quattro makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).
Johnson Controls and OSU EcoCAR 2 Project Puts Green Tech in the Driver's Seat (and the Other Seats)
A project with Johnson Automotive Controls and Ohio State University offers a pretty interesting look at what the seating of future green vehicles might be like.
Coming Soon: Your Personal Flying Car
The carbon-fiber vehicle takes off vertically, right from your driveway (presuming you have 100 ft of clearance), using electric-powered rotor blades mounted on each side.
Boeing Executive Discusses Ins and Outs of 787
Low-cost, large-scale composites manufacturing technology allows a significant increase in the use of composites on the 787.
New Research: Consumers Embrace New Fuel Economy Standard, are Purchasing More High MPG Vehicles, and Plan to Significantly Increase Fuel Efficiency in Future Purchases
First “progress report” on 54.5 mpg standard shows consumer demand strong, automakers meeting the challenge, and electrics gaining popularity.
Automotive Lightweighting Applications: The Road Ahead
Lightweighting measures are expected to be applied to every car model launched in the coming years. The average car contains 15 percent of its total weight—or roughly 400 pounds—of plastics, with its use in automotive manufacturing accelerating.