Ford and DowAksa have signed a joint development agreement to develop cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing of automotive-grade carbon fiber, a material expected to play a significant role in the drive to make vehicles lighter for greater fuel efficiency, performance and capability.
The agreement, between Ford Motor Company, Ford Global Technologies and DowAksa — a 50/50 joint venture between Dow Chemical and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S. — will combine DowAksa’s feedstock capacity, carbon fiber conversion and downstream intermediates production capabilities with Ford’s expertise in design, engineering and high-volume manufacturing.
The goal is to produce materials that make cost-effective carbon fiber composite parts that are much lighter than steel but meet automotive strength requirements.
The agreement also allows for an extension of development collaboration into a commercial manufacturing partnership.
As announced in January, the companies will be part of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, announced by President Obama as part of the larger National Network for Manufacturing Innovation supported by the US Department of Energy.