Lightweighting in vehicle structures represents a significant opportunity for energy savings on a life cycle basis. Traditional composites manufacturing technologies for vehicles offer either high volume manufacturing or significant weight savings, but not both.
IACMI’s Vehicles Technology Area, located in Michigan where 70% of all US automotive RD&D occurs at more than 370 R&D centers, is focused on reducing the weight of vehicle structures.
IACMI approaches these limitations from multiple angles, integrating process development with materials development, supported by advancements in joining, recycling and simulation. The increased use of strong, lightweight polymer composites has the potential to create jobs and to reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Michigan State University, which leads this technology area, serves as a portal within IACMI to support the vehicles market in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and more than 100 companies in the automotive sector.
The vehicle industry’s R&D and manufacturing footprint overlays the six core states in which IACMI has a presence. Advancement in the processing and manufacture of lightweight composite vehicle components has the potential to transform automotive manufacturing in Michigan as well as other parts of the country.
Michigan State University’s Composite Vehicle Research Center, located on the MSU main campus in Lansing, MI, as well as IACMI’s Scale-Up Research Facility (SURF), located in the Corktown district of Detroit, MI – also managed by MSU – represent IACMI’s Vehicles Technology Area. The manufacturing capabilities and researchers at both facilities are available to industry for research and development projects, as well as trials, testing, and validation of manufacturing innovations.