Ford has announced a new collaboration with DowAksa the specialist carbon fibre and carbon fibre reinforced composite solutions provider - to develop manufacturing innovations in automotive-grade carbon fibre.
Ford and DowAksa are carrying out joint research to develop high-volume manufacturing techniques, with an aim to make vehicles lighter for greater fuel efficiency, performance and capability.
The companies will be part of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, created by the U.S. government. The institute is part of the larger National Network for Manufacturing Innovation supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The mission of the institute and Ford's collaboration with DowAksa is to overcome the high cost and limited availability of carbon fibre, while developing a viable, high-volume manufacturing process.
Ford vice president of research and advanced engineering Ken Washington said: "Our collaboration with DowAksa and participation in this organisation significantly boosts what we are able to achieve. We have a true alliance of highly talented people working to take automotive materials to the next level."
Ford global manager of materials and manufacturing research Jim deVries added: "This opportunity builds upon Ford's current joint development agreement with Dow Chemical and accelerates our timeline to introduce carbon fibre composites into high-volume applications. This collaboration helps us accelerate our efforts to create lighter automotive-grade composite materials that benefit customers by enabling improved fuel economy without sacrificing strength."