Potentially significant weight savings found…
They’re building and making all sorts of things with carbon-fibre now a days, even airplanes!
But it’s been the automotive industry that has been the main beneficiary of the lightweight/ultra-strong material.
Now, Ford is looking at the feasibility of using carbon-fibre to build vehicle subframes.
Ford and Magna International have been working on the development of carbon-fibre subframes and tell us switching from steel could reduce weight and lessen complexity in the manufacturing process.
Grahame Burrow, President of Magna Exteriors, says utilizing a carbon-fibre composite subframe could replace 45 steel parts with as little as six and reduce weight by 87%.
“The subframe is a key part of a vehicle’s structure,”
“Typically providing a place to attach the engine and wheels while also contributing rigidity and crash management.
“This collaboration with Ford has allowed us to deliver a solution with the potential to really move the needle in terms of aggressive light weighting without sacrificing styling or performance.”
The news comes after it was confirmed Ford was also investigating the possibility of using 3D printing in the manufacturing process – details on that can be found here.
At this stage, there is no firm commitment from Ford for the use of the carbon-fibre subframe, however we will keep you updated as further info comes to hand.