2013 CAR MBS: Fiber Reinforced Composites Make Lightweighting Easier for Automakers

Dr. Martin Jung is one of the many scientists at BASF who are focused on reducing vehicle weight - not by a couple pounds, but by more than 200 pounds per vehicle - by utilizing more plastics technology. Talk about taking a load off!

Jung was recently invited to present at this year's Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) in Traverse City, Mich. He spoke about how cooperation across the value chain, advancements in manufacturing R&D and new holistic light weighting design approaches can lead to the expansion of composites in automotive production.

"Currently, automakers can reduce vehicle weight by up to 220 pounds by using short fiber reinforced plastics in seats, oil pans, cross beams, air intake manifolds, engine mounts and structural inserts," said Jung, senior vice president of Global Research for Structural Materials. "In the next several years, advancements in design and process efficiency will enable an entirely new way of designing whole modules and assemblies from continuous fiber-reinforced composites."

We're also looking to put more resources toward R&D efforts that focus on thermoplastic and thermoset composites over the next three years to provide automakers with advanced solutions in this category.

"The development needed for composites to become widely used materials in the automotive space is a challenge that the entire value chain must face together," added Jung. "We need to work together to ensure we can develop and introduce highly automated and robust process technologies across the industry."

We're also inviting carmakers to assess lightweight solutions with us and to develop first production components on BASF's material platform together.