Martin Jung, PhD, Senior Vice President of Global Research for Structural Materials for BASF , presented “The Pathway to Lightweight Composite Cars” during the Featherweight Competition: One Path to a Lightweight Car panel today at the 2013 Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars.
Jung, who leads BASF‘s global research department for structural materials, discussed the roadmap for automotive composite applications and projections for the continued growth of reinforced plastics as automakers strive to reduce vehicle weight.
Jung also discussed how cooperation across the value chain, advancements in manufacturing R&D and new holistic lightweighting 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. “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.”
BASF plans to invest a high two-digit million euro sum in the R&D of thermoplastic and thermoset composites over the next three years. The company is inviting carmakers to assess lightweight solutions with BASF and to develop first production components on BASF’s material platform together.
To help automakers close the gap towards the large scale production of composite systems, BASF offers solutions such as its Ultracom™ approach - a package of three components: continuous fiber reinforced semi-finished products; adapted overmolding compounds; and complementing engineering, processing and testing support – plus computer-aided engineering technologies, such as BASF’s Ultrasim® simulation tool.
“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.”
Ultracom™ is a trademark of BASF.
Ultrasim® is a registered trademark of BASF SE.
About BASF’s automotive solutions
The automotive industry is one of BASF’s key customer industries, accounting for up to 15 percent of the Group’s total sales. As the world’s leading automotive supplier in the chemical industry, BASF is recognized as a reliable and competent partner by carmakers, suppliers, and the after-sales market. With a strong presence in Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as in Asia, BASF has a global industry network. It supplies and develops functional materials and solutions that contribute to the vehicles of today and of the future. From engineering plastics, polyurethane and specialty foams, coatings and fuel additives to catalysts, battery materials, pigments, synthetic lubricants, coolants, brake fluids and chemicals for leather and textiles, BASF supplies a broad range of products for use in the automotive industry. Sales to the automotive industry in 2012 were €9.5 billion. To find more information on BASF's solutions to the Automotive market, please visit: http://www.basf.com/group/corporate/us/en/about-basf/worldwide/north-america/USA/products-and-industries/automotive/index.