Ford and DowAksa are accelerating joint research to develop high-volume manufacturing techniques for automotive-grade carbon fiber, aiming to make vehicles lighter for greater fuel efficiency, performance and capability.
The companies are part of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, created by the US government. The institute is part of the larger National Network for Manufacturing Innovation supported by the Department of Energy.
The mission of the institute and the goal of Ford’s collaboration with DowAksa — a 50/50 joint venture between Dow Chemical and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii — is to overcome the high cost and limited availability of carbon fiber, while developing a viable, high-volume manufacturing process. Ford and Dow Chemical began working together in 2012 to develop low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber composites.
Creating lighter vehicles is a major part of Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
Ford and DowAksa also are working together to reduce the energy needed to produce carbon fiber components, cut the cost of raw materials and develop recycling processes.