MOSCOW (MRC) --In a bid to make vehicles more lightweight, DowAksa – a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Co. and Turkish acrylic fibres producer Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S – is partnering with Ford Motor Co. to research cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing of automotive-grade carbon fibre, said Canplastics.
The joint development agreement between Ford Motor Company, Ford Global Technologies and DowAksa will combine DowAksa’s feedstock capacity, carbon fibre conversion and downstream intermediates production with Ford’s expertise in design, engineering and high-volume manufacturing.
The goal is to produce cost-effective carbon fibre composite parts that are much lighter than steel but meet automotive strength requirements.
"This joint development agreement reinforces Ford’s commitment to our partnership with DowAksa, and our drive to bring carbon fibre components to the broader market," said Mike Whitens, director of Vehicle Enterprise Sciences at Ford Research & Advanced Engineering.
The agreement allows the companies to collaboratively generate new, lower-cost automotive grades of carbon fibre while maintaining compatibility with both thermoset and thermoplastic matrices. The agreement also includes a pathway for potential extension of development collaboration into a commercial manufacturing partnership.
"This agreement marks another milestone in the partnership to develop lightweighting solutions for the automotive industry," said DowAksa Chairman Heinz Haller. “Ford and DowAksa’s collaboration will accelerate delivery of advanced materials and technologies to meet and exceed expectations for high performance and fuel economy."
"Automotive manufacturers’ use of carbon fibre composites has been hindered by the absence of both high-volume manufacturing methods and affordable material formats," said DowAska Vice Chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman. "This partnership combines the individual strengths of each company to target these challenges."
As MRC informed earlier, Dow Chemical Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Dow Europe Holding BV, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S., a world-leading acrylic fiber company, in 2012 announced the official formation of DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV (DowAksa), a joint venture (JV) to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.
The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber. EBITDA was up 15% in 4Q at USD2.4 bn. Net profits were down 24% at USD734. Dow's sales in 4Q were unchanged on a year earlier at USD14.38 bn.