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Plastics exec calls for standards to drive new material opportunities

Recycling, crash and mixed-material standards will expand OEM design freedom, Jose Chirino told the 2020 SPE Automotive Composites conference.

‘Virtually limitless’ opportunities for plastics in changing auto industry, researchers say

Detroit — As the future of automotive mobility and autonomy becomes clearer, advanced plastics are poised to play a significant role, industry professionals and researchers at both the American Chemistry Council and the Center for Automotive Research say.

Automotive Plastics Market to Witness Substantial Growth With Governments, Manufacturers, and Consumers Taking Cognizance of the Need to Reduce Carbon Emission

Rising economic and environmental concerns are paving way for the use of plastics over metals in the manufacturing of automotive components to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles.

U.S. Chamber splits with Trump over car rules

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is splitting with President Trump over his rollback of Obama-era clean car standards.

Plastics industry might want auto body shops’ bumper fascias

Collision repairers, auto recyclers and OEMs might have a new and potentially lucrative means of disposing of bumper fascias: Give them to the plastics industry to melt down and reuse.

ACC Statement on Safety Aspects of the EPA-NHTSA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Fuel Efficiency of 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule),”a notice of proposed rulemaking that would freeze fuel economy standards at model year (MY) 2020 levels for MY 2021-2026.

ACC Joins Coalition for Future Mobility

The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division has joined the Coalition for Future Mobility, which encourages bipartisan congressional leadership to advance the safe testing and deployment of automated vehicle technology in the United States.

The White House has invited automakers to a Monday meeting where it will again press them to support the rollback of Obama-era clean car rules, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

When the CEOs of major automakers asked President Trump to re-evaluate Obama-era clean car standards, they were hoping he would soften the rules. Instead, they got a full-fledged rollback.

Goodyear showcases retro, futuristic tires at Geneva Motor Show

Goodyear went both retro and futuristic at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show to showcase the company’s technical prowess.

Plastics report: Increased demand for plastics in automotive, transportation sector

According to a new report by the Plastics Industry Association (Plastics), Washington, demand for plastics in several modes of transportation is increasing.

Plastics Industry Association report: Next-gen transport will open up increased opportunities for plastics

Did you know that a 10% reduction in vehicle weight results in an estimated 5 to 7% reduction in fuel usage? And that of the approximately 30,000 parts in an automobile, one-third are plastic? How about the fact that in 2016, the average light vehicle contained about 330 pounds (150 kg) of polymer composites that accounted for over 50% of the total vehicle volume?

Toyota Offers AI-Enabled Crash Avoidance Tech To Rivals Amid Auto Safety Push At CES

Toyota has argued that self-driving car technology still has lots of hurdles to clear before it’s ready for widespread consumer use, but that the artificial intelligence and sensor research going into it can be leveraged earlier to cut down on crashes.

New Volkswagen Passat Mk8.5 gets new tech and plug-in hybrid boost

The Volkswagen Passat range has been facelifted for 2019, with the GTE model getting longer electric-only range of 35 miles

Locusts inspire split-second braking

Cars could brake in a split-second when faced with a possible collision, if a robotics breakthrough inspired by locusts delivers on its promise.

How Volvo Plans “All-Electric by 2019”: Offer Electric Option for Every Model

Volvo has committed to being climate neutral in manufacturing by 2025 and is aiming for 50% of sales to be ‘fully electric’ by 2025. See our new electrification content.

Vehicle Lightweighting with Plastics Still Critical to Safety, Performance and Consumer Preference

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced completion of its Midterm Evaluation for greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks (model years 2022 to 2025), which determined that current standards are not appropriate and should be revised.

World’s First Industry 4.0 Testlab for Manufacturing 3D Printing Carbon Fiber Composite Material

The focal point of the Industry 4.0 Testlab will be the first industrial-scale multilayer approach to 3D printing carbon fiber composites, which will be able to produce commercial parts made with the material for less waste, less cost, and a better production capability.

GM’s Latest Weapon in Pickup Truck Wars: Carbon Fiber

With selling an average of about 800,000 pickups annually, GM’s use of carbon fiber on premium versions initially could very well be the push needed for broader adoption in the auto industry.

The Future of Our Vehicles: “Advanced, Lighter Materials”

Today’s cars are comprised of about 50 percent plastics by volume. (Look around the next time you’re in a car. Most everything you can touch is made with plastics.) BUT because plastics are typically lighter than other materials, plastics comprise only ten percent of today’s cars by weight.

Turning Car Plastics Into Foams With Coconut Oil

End-of-life vehicles, with their plastic, metal and rubber components, are responsible for millions of tons of waste around the world each year. Now, one team reports in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering that the plastic components in these vehicles can be recycled with coconut oil and re-used as foams for the construction, packaging and automotive industries.

BASF Student Contest on Painting Carbon Fiber Composites

The industry is looking for better ways to coat the lightweight material.The competition is open to Ph.D. students and researchers in the U.S. and Canada who have ideas on ways to improve coating techniques for carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP).

A Formula 1 Team Is 3D Printing Race Car Parts

McLaren Racing Limited is using 3D printers to modify the parts on its race car. Replacing a rear wing took just a week and a half instead of the five weeks it would have taken with traditional methods.

New 3-D Printing Technology Creates Molds for Production of Plastic Parts

Not just one-offs, 3-D plastics printers can create the actual mold used for a production line part. Making a mold used to take 3-6 weeks and cost tens of thousands. Now, small businesses can compete with global giants. To change or customize a part, print a new mold from the CAD drawing. Plastics can speed up new product time-to-market with 3-D printing.

Modeling Shows Automotive Material Lightweighting Saves Lives

New advocacy graphic demonstrates the roll of plastics and composite lightweighting in maintaining safety. Research shows that as cars lightweight, weight reductions alone can reduce traffic fatalities. More aggressive weight reductions than needed to achieve current proposed CAFE standards can save even more lives.

Chevrolet Bolt EV Heading To LA For Its Ride-Sharing Debut With Maven

Starting with Los Angeles, Maven will focus on collaborating with cities and municipalities to co-create smart transportation solutions that enhance mobility, create jobs and ease parking and congestion,” stated Julia Steyn, the VP of General Motors.

Incorporating Plastics Into Heavy Duty Trucks to Meet New Fuel Efficiency Standards

To introduce a new generation of trucks that can meet the fuel economy and emission standards, manufacturers are utilizing plastics and plastic composites to replace heavier metal parts.

Watch How Terrifyingly Bad Car Safety Was Just 20 Years Ago

Cars get a little safer every year, but incremental improvements to things like airbags and crumple zones are easy to overlook. Take a long view, though—like, two decades long—and the sum of these small advances becomes glaringly obvious.

Stronger, Safer, Sleeker: Plastics at the Auto Show

Some of the newest, most cutting-edge vehicles can give us a glimpse at how plastics will continue to “drive” future automotive innovation.

Luxury Car Maker PSA Group Puts 3D Printing to Use for Car Chassis

PSA plans to utilize Divergent 3D’s technologies in enhancing overall vehicle structures to build lighter and structurally safer cars in the future.

Under Trump, Fuel Economy Standards for Cars and Trucks May Be Scaled Back

Will a President Donald Trump scrap the aggressive fuel-economy targets that automakers and President Obama agreed to five years ago?

The Horrifying Differences In International Car Safety Regulations, Visualized

The silver car is the least expensive Nissan model sold in the US. The red car is the least expensive model sold in Mexico. The difference between a crash’s effect on each car is…frightening.

Airbus Has a Secret Flying-Car Project Called Vahana

The European aerospace giant Airbus recently unveiled its secret flying-car project dubbed Vahana — a single-manned, autonomously piloted aircraft that can take off and land vertically. Cue the Jetsons references!

Solvay’s Ryton® PPS Helps Cool Polimotor 2 All-Plastic Engine

Solvay, a leading global supplier of specialty polymers, announced that its high-performing Ryton® polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) will be at the heart of the Polimotor 2 engine’s water pump.

Reversible Bonding in Multi-Material Vehicles: How It’s Done Part II

It almost sounds too good to be true…but really it’s just the power of plastics and chemistry!

The Case for Reversible Bonding in Today’s Automotive Assembly Part I

Plastic is the matrix material holding carbon fibers together to form material one-sixth the weight of steel but with twelve times the crash absorbing energy.

This Carbon Fiber Paraolympics Bike Is a $10,000 Ride

About eight years ago, a company called Carbonbike came out with its first carbon-fiber hand-bike design. Now, all serious competitors are switching to carbon-framed bikes from that company and its competitors.

IACMI Announces Project to Improve Automotive Composites

The new IACMI project will address the problems of cost and design constraints in automotive applications through, it says, ‘a fundamentally different approach to the manufacturing of carbon fiber composites versus those currently in use today’.

Feds Release New Regulations to Curb Big Truck Emissions and Fuel Use

Could cut 1.1 billion tons of carbon and save $170 billion in fuel.

Lightweighting Remains Top Focus for Automakers to Meet CAFE Standards

Taking weight out of vehicles and engine efficiency programs continue to top the list of strategies for automakers as the industry looks for ways to meet 2025 CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards.

Lamborghini Wants the Next Aventador to Have Carbon Fiber Connecting Rods

Carbon fiber isn’t just a fancy accessory on today’s high-end sports cars–it’s the material of the future that’s making cars lighter and stronger than ever. Lamborghini recently opened up a new carbon fiber R&D facility in Seattle, and the tech it’s developing there is potentially game-changing.

Toyota First to Industry with Plasma-Coated Polycarbonate Rear Quarter Window

The car’s rear quarter window is injection molded with LEXAN™ resin, an optically clear and lightweight-enabling PC material from SABIC. The window is about 50 percent lighter compared to a conventional glass solution.

Video: Local Motors Unveils Self-Driving Shuttle Bus

View this cool video to learn more this fascinating technology.

EERE Success Story—Plasma Oxidation of Carbon Fiber Precursor

With the potential to reduce the weight of vehicle components by up to 60%, carbon fiber composites is one of the most promising lightweight materials available to improve vehicle efficiency.

Solvay Announces Polimotor 2 All-Plastic Engine Project Will Mold its Oil Pump Housing from AvaSpire® PAEK Ultra Polymer

A 30 percent carbon fiber-reinforced compound, AvaSpire® AV-651 CF30 PAEK delivers higher strength, stiffness and fatigue resistance compared to base AV-651 grades, and enhanced weight reduction vs. glass fiber-reinforced AvaSpire® PAEK grades.

All New $515k McLaren MSO LT (40% More Plastic Carbon Fiber) to Begin Deliveries

This MSO Carbon Series features 40 percent more carbon than before.

CAFE Vehicle Standards the Biggest Energy-Saving Initiative in the U.S.

View this interesting infographic to learn more about CAFE.

What A Completely Failed Crash Test Looks Like

Regulations on car safety aren’t quite as strict outside the US — which leads to some cars that completely (scoring 0 out of 17) on crash tests. It’s not pretty.

How Plastics Are Boosting MPGs

At a time when fuel efficiency standards are on the rise, plastics are helping cars travel longer distances on less fuel.

Henkel Automotive on Composite Leaf Springs for the Volvo XC90 and Adhesive Market Trends – Q&A

Matthew Beecham caught up with Frank Kerstan, Global Programme Manager for Automotive Composites and his colleagues to learn more about Henkel’s composite leaf spring for Volvo, adhesives for windscreens, and electro ceramic coatings.

Making a Lasting Impression on the Auto Industry

Today in Taking Measure we asked 2016 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient Adam Creuziger a few questions about his life and work.

Plastics in Automotive Trends Report

Competitive market intelligence and analysis focusing on current trends impacting North American plastics processors.

3D Printing 101—How to Make a Car: Local Motors Gives Us a Sneak Peek

The material used to 3D print the vehicles is composed of pellets made up of a blend that is 80 percent ABS and 20 percent carbon fiber.

Plastic Composite Fairings Could Save 10 Billion Gallons of Diesel Fuel/Year and the Emissions

EERE success story—heavy vehicle fuel efficiency is no drag.

The Ford Shelby GT-H Is a Rental Car That Knows How to Kick Ass

A very serious Mustang that you can’t buy.

Lighten Up: MSU Working to Make Cars Lighter, Stronger

If automakers want to reach the federal mandate of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, they are going to have to come up with ways of making cars lighter.

Plastics Play Key Role as Automakers Seek to Build More Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Use of lightweight yet strong materials has become the order of the day for auto manufacturers that are constantly seeking ways to reduce the weight of cars and trucks in order to improve fuel efficiency, safety and design for consumers.

Carbon Fiber Aids Auto Industry’s Bid to Meet CAFE Standards

In the automotive market segment, the increase in Corporate Annual Fuel Economy (CAFE) levels should benefit the reinforced plastics market as metal components are increasingly replaced with plastics.

Energy Department Announces $58 Million to Advance Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies

These technologies will help save American consumers money and decrease carbon emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of conventional cars and trucks.

The Ford GT’s Windshied Will Be Gorilla Glass, Just Like Your Smartphone Screen

The new Ford GT supercar will be full of fancy technology. A twin-turbo engine. Carbon fiber everything. And, thanks to a partnership with Corning, a windshield built with Gorilla Glass.

High-Tech Crash Prevention Features May Soon Count Toward Official Safety Ratings

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes a reworking to the famous 5-Star Safety Ratings that can be found on every new car window sticker.

Mustang Lightens Its Grille with New Carbon Fiber Composite

Ford Performance wanted to showcase innovation on the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang by creating a grille opening reinforcement made of carbon fiber.

Polimotor 2 Chooses Solvay’s High-Performance KetaSpire® PEEK for 3D-Printed Fuel Intake Runner

The Polimotor 2 engine component is the first successful application of 3D-printing with PEEK polymer.

Carbon Fiber and Plastics Driving Automotive Innovation, Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, automobile components made with advanced composite materials could reduce the weight of passenger cars by half and improve fuel efficiency by nearly 35 percent.

CAFE Standards Are Pushing Innovation

Chairman and CEO of Continental Structural Plastics answers questions regarding the impact of CAFE standards on plastics companies.

3D Printing Helped Make the Stunning All-New Ford GT a Showstopper

3D printing has become an integral part of the car production process over the last few years, especially at Ford.

An Elephant Cracked His Tusk. Carbon Fiber to the Rescue!

Scientist designs an industrial-strength composite material to act like a brace for cracked tusk.

Report Calculates Growing Role for Plastics, Composites in Autos

Automotive plastic products yield economic, environmental benefits.

The Growing Role of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastics in Autos

Lighter vehicles help improve fuel mileage, and strong ones help keep passengers safer. Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) are a group of advanced materials that can meet both requirements.

Mazda Shows Ultra-Light MX-5 Concepts at SEMA Show

A set of super-light RAYS wheels, and carbon-fibre doors and seats help to further lighten the car by a significant 113 kg, to a total weight of 943(!) kg.

World’s Fastest All-Electric Car to Be Delivered to China

The world’s fastest two-seat, pure-electric sports car is to be delivered to a customer in China within weeks, the vehicle’s builder said on Friday.

Today’s Cars Are Lighter and More Fuel Efficient Thanks to This Material

Automakers are finding that advanced plastics are effective materials for reducing component weight while maintaining and even improving safety.

Carbon Fiber and Plastics Driving Automotive Innovation

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, automobile components made with advanced composite materials could reduce the weight of passenger cars by half and improve fuel efficiency by nearly 35 percent. That’s one of the primary reasons that automakers are ramping up use of composite auto parts made with carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) in their vehicles.

Keynoter from GM to Address Automotive Composites at CAMX 2015

The speaker discusses the carmaker’s material and manufacturing strategies as it pursues lightweighting in new-car development.

How Ford is Innovating with Materials Science

The world’s 4th largest automaker continues its charge with a strategy that it’s awfully familiar with.

How Will Automakers Reach Nearly 55 MPG by 2025?

To meet this challenge, automakers are focusing on design efficiencies and increasingly turning to advanced, lightweight materials.

Plastics, Carbon Fiber and the Future of Our Cars and Trucks

Ford unveiled its all-new GT, a high-performance, production-volume sports car, and made a claim that would seem to indicate where our cars and trucks are headed: “Few innovations provide a more wide-ranging performance and efficiency advantage than reducing weight. All factors of a vehicle’s capabilities – acceleration, handling, braking, safety, efficiency – can improve through the use of advanced, lighter materials.”

Vehicle Lightweighting Achieved Through Composites

These days, an assortment of composites are helping to reduce weight, save fuel, and decrease the number of parts used.

Energy Department Announces $70 Million for Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing

The Department aims to support research and development advancements that can reduce the cost of deployment for technologies such as advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling for manufacturing by as much as 50 percent.

ASU Partners with Local Motors to Develop High-Tech 3D Printing Materials For Cars

The materials researched could be applied to the future construction and fabrication of 3D printed automotive parts.

Novel Self-Healing Coatings for Auto Scratch Resistance….Find Out More…

Polyurethanes have a wide range of uses in the automotive industry.

World’s First 3D-Printed Supercar Aimed at Shaking up the Auto Industry

Divergent Microfactories is focused on cleaning up the highways by promoting electric vehicle adoption.

Automakers Ramp Up Use of Plastics, Carbon Fiber

Been to an auto showroom lately? There have been plenty of recent changes to our cars and trucks, from advanced dashboard displays to inflatable seat belts, many of them based on innovations in plastics.

New Plastics Strong Enough to Pave Road Surfaces

VolkerWessels’ PlasticRoad project proposes the development of a road surface made up of recycled plastic. The surface would be a dramatically greener alternative to asphalt (which is responsible for 1.6 million tons of CO2 emissions/year globally), and would also significantly improve the amount of time spent on road construction.

Solvay Materials Fuel Breakthrough Innovation of “Polimotor 2” All-Plastic Car Engine

Solvay is proudly taking a leadership role in the development of the Polimotor 2 all-plastic automotive engine, to be tested in a race car next year, demonstrating its unique and industry-leading advanced specialty polymer technologies in light-weighting through metal replacement.

Video: On the Road: 2017 Ford GT: CNET on Cars

Carbon fiber plastics literally RESHAPE the 2017 Ford GT.

Toyota to Let People 3D Print Custom Parts for Vehicles

When you drive down the street, no matter where you live, you are bound to come across many vehicles which have been customized through the use of body kits, new wheels, and fancy paint jobs. Now, one automaker is set to take customization to an entirely new level.

3D Print Objects Using Plastic From Old Car Dashboards

This new printable material is made from the plastic found within vehicle dashboards and door panels as well as PET plastic bottles.

Carbon Fiber Concept Car Turns Into a Party Pad

The concept vehicle is about creating a better value proposition for young adults that have little money to spare, less interest in vehicle ownership than previous generations, yet need a personal mobility solution that aligns with their complex lifestyle.

Race Car With Over 360 3D Printed Parts on Display

The aerospace industry is not the only area in which weight reduction will lead to cost savings. Take for instance automobiles. The lighter a vehicle is, the less resistance it encounters, meaning it can move faster and use less fuel.

Chevy’s New Robo-Car Concept: Want This in Carbon Fiber!

General Motors has a vision of motoring in 2030, when autonomous cars free us from the tyranny of the commute, and it’s…interesting.

Next BMW 7-Series To Use ‘Carbon Core’ Based on i3 Electric Car Body

Its body shells are made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) mounted atop an aluminum rolling platform carrying the powertrains and crash structures.

Ford Sees 3D Printing as Part of the Future of Car Design & End-use Vehicle Components

3D printing is quickly becoming more than simply a design tool and is being incorporated into many businesses’ manufacturing processes.

GM’s Using Simulated Crashes to Build Safer Cars

Thanks to computers that are more powerful than ever before, an on-screen crash can offer nearly as much information as a real one.

Self-Driving Cars Will Be Tested in a 23-Acre City of Robots

Welcome to M City, a soon-to-open 23-acre mini-metropolis at the University of Michigan, where automakers can test autonomous cars to prepare for the driverless future expected within a decade.

Study: Auto Industry to Use 75% More Plastics by 2020

Plastics use in automobiles will increase 75% by 2020, and carbon fiber is expected to triple by 2030, according to IHS Chemical. The growing role of plastics in cars will be a boon for the chemical industry, which is developing composites and advanced plastics to meet the growing demand for lightweight materials.

SABIC Uses 3D Printing Technology to Build a More Efficient Truck Roof

The thermoplastic roof reduces drag, and the company says it is capable of raising the fuel economy of large vehicles by up to three percent.

View Video

Chinese Company 3D Prints a Full-size Working Car for Just $1770

Plastics again forges the future…new Chinese entrant..does it use carbon fiber…what is the crumple zone made of??? Find out more at the link above.

Volvo Trucks Cuts Production Time By 94% & Costs with Stratasys 3D Printing Systems

Pierre Jenny, the manufacturing director at Volvo Trucks, says using Stratasys AM technology has cut the time it takes to design and manufacture a variety of tools once produced in metal from 36 days to just two days by using thermoplastic ABSplus and the Stratasys Fortus 3D Production System.

CFR Automotive Plastics Propels the Future of Cars

Automotive plastic car parts and body make car lightweight enough to fly. Due in 2017.

Plastic Auto Parts: BMW i3 Tour of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Body in White and Crumple Zone Physics

This new blog post showcases an exclusive video that highlights automotive lightweighting and the dynamic front-end vectoring technology of the crumple zone used in the fully electric BMW i3.

Revolutionizing Clean Energy Technology with Advanced Composites

Learn more about advanced composites by watching this video from

Students in Singapore Use 3D Printing to Create a Pair of Solar Powered Vehicles

They’re called the the NTU Venture 8 and NTU Venture 9, and they’re a pair of student-designed project vehicles mounted on carbon fiber chassis structures which make use of solar power and 3D printing.

Energy Secretary Moniz Unveils More Than $55 Million to Advance Fuel Efficient Vehicle Technologies

The funding opportunity will go towards a wide range of research, development, and demonstration projects that aim to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles.

Design Student Shows What 3D Printing Can Do for the Auto Industry

The automobile industry is in the midst of what may be the biggest shakeup in its 130 year history.

Viewpoint: Detroit Is the New Silicon Valley of Auto Innovation

Auto companies are revolutionizing the industry with 3D printing, connected-car systems and an array of new smart technologies.

Lighter Is Better!

A little more than half of the structure is made of composite materials such as plastic reinforced by carbon fibers.

Coming Soon To National Harbor: 3-D Printed Cars

3-D printed cars are coming to National Harbor proving that the Maryland waterfront really is becoming a giant adult playground.

For Shelby Cobra Roadster’s 50th, Designers 3D Print a Working Replica

Cobra update: it’s a roadster, not a convertible. And its made by a 3D printer from plastic/carbon fiber pellets.

Local Motors Just 3D-Printed a Car Live at an Auto Show

Local Motors is building the Strati right on the floor of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with printing and routing equipment that it brought in just for the occasion.

The Weird and Wonderful Cars of CES 2015

The annual gathering of tech companies in Las Vegas isn’t focused on cars, but this year automobile tech seemed to take over the event.

CES Live: Mercedes-Benz 015 Luxury in Motion Concept

The F 015 is nearly 40 percent lighter than a comparably-sized production vehicle thanks to the widespread use of lightweight materials like carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastics, aluminum and high-strength steel.

Economies of Scale Will Shape Costs for Carbon Fiber Globally

A new report suggests that Asia-Pacific is the most promising carbon fiber market.

Dual Tracks to Automotive Lightweighting

In this video, John McElroy (the host of Autoline Daily) offers his views on the future of plastics in the automotive industry.

A Plastic/Composite Car in Every Driveway?

Based on research and development by automakers, plastics makers, and the government, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) now appears headed toward mainstream use in the family car. carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

Plastics Printer Used to Manufacture Small Production Electric Scooter

Facing increasing congestion in city centers, urban mobility is in need of transformation. The challenge is not just to find something that is eco-friendly and easy to use but also adaptable to individual needs and can be shared between users.

HD Close-Ups of the New 3-D Printed Carbon Fiber Plastic Car

Local Motor’s 3-D Printed Car Visits Washington, DC.

Plastics Will Help Maintain Safety While Lightweighting Autonomous Vehicles

IDEO imagines the wild future of self-driving cars.

See How Designs of the Future Car Will Need Plastic Malleability

This 21-year old is painting the most insane sci-fi vehicles on the planet.

Plastics and Composites Are Reshaping Car Design, IHS Report Shows

Automotive plastics are here to stay, and IHS Automotive has the figures to prove it.

Rinspeed sQuba Submarine Car

Plastics help enable underwater bond car.

When to Do an LCA

As the environmental, social and economic impacts of a product over its entire life cycle receive increased attention, many companies are wondering about conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA). Should they conduct an LCA? And if so, when and how?

Carbon Fiber Plastic Composites Used on New Visio Similar to BMW i3

One key to Visio.M’s high energy efficiency is its light weight; without the battery, Visio.M weighs only 992 lbs. The passenger compartment consists of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, while aluminum is used in the front, rear and room frame. All windows are made of LEXAN resin, a polycarbonate (PC) material, and coating technologies from SABIC.

WSJ Interview: Public Rates Efficiency Higher than Safety

Americans rate fuel efficiency as their #1 priority ahead of even safety and cost, underscoring growing frustrations over high gas prices.

10 Ways the Car Is Becoming More Than a Vehicle

Cars are in the midst of the most profound transformation in the past 100 years. And that change is only accelerating.

Plastic Composite Leaf Spring Replaces Rear Coils – Creates Room in Volvo XC90

Already a permanent feature of automotive engineering, lightweight construction methods continue to steadily gain in importance.

What Will YOU Print on YOUR Car’s Seats?

Johnson Controls is working on a production process to personalize interiors that is entirely new in automotive production: an inkjet process for seat covers.

The Future is Still Plastics – Maybe More Than Ever

In the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” the title character got this career advice: just one word…plastics.

New Super-Combo Glass and Carbon Fiber Resin: Less Cost and Hardly a Performance Hit

PlastiComp, Inc., a global leader in long fiber thermoplastic (LFT) materials and technologies, has developed an innovative set of hybrid thermoplastic composites that combine long glass fiber and long carbon fiber reinforcement together in a single, ready-to-mold composite pellet.

Washington Post Blog: A Working Car Has Been 3D-Printed Out of Carbon Fiber Plastic

The Strati took 44 hours to make, and it’s completely driveable. And it just might be the future of automotive technology everywhere.

World’s First 3D Printed Car Took Years to Design, But Only 44 Hours to Print

Printed in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic or ABS, the finished Strati can drive at speeds up to 40 mph and can travel 120 miles on a single charge.

Plastic Carbon Fiber Car Printed in a Week Drives Off Show Floor

“Strati”, the Italian word for “layers”, is the name of the first 3D printed electric car, made in Chicago. Member Provides Carbon Fiber Plastic Materials For First Thermally Printed Car

SABIC delivered the materials and processing expertise needed to create a first-of-its-kind concept vehicle using advanced 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) during the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago this week.

Print, Assemble, Drive: The 3-D Printed Plastic Car

The printer is the world’s first large-scale 3-D printer that works with polymers.

Plastic Cars Are the Future

Combine the plastic technologies with cars run on renewable energy and we can begin to forget the pollution caused by petrol engines.

DOE Awards $55 Million for Advanced Efficient Vehicles, Great News for Predictive Engineering

The Energy Department announced more than $55 million for 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Carbon Fiber Keeping Formula One Drivers Safe

Things like carbon fiber splinters don’t injure the drive in the event of a crash.

New Dutch 700 Pound Electric Car Debuts

Called MK1, Carice’s latest creation takes the form of a tiny two-seater roadster whose design pays homage to the iconic Porsche 356.

54.5 MPG? Automakers Are on Track Says Consumer Federation

The advent of new lightweight materials including carbon-reinforced plastics and strong-but-light metal alloys will help.

Demand For Lightweight Automotive Materials in NA to Reach 22.3 Billion Pounds

Demand for lightweight automotive materials in the North American light vehicle market is anticipated to rise 5.2 percent annually to 22.3 billion pounds in 2018.

Demand for Lightweight Automotive Materials in North America to Continue to Rise

The demand for polymers and composites in the North American automotive market has risen from 5235 million pounds in 2008 to 7135 million pounds. This is predicted to rise to 8020 million pounds by 2018.

Tougher Than Steel — Carbon Fiber Conquers Car World

BMW is leading the way with its innovative i3 runabout, showing that it is possible to build a compact city car using a high-tech material like carbon fibre without sending production costs through the roof.

Aluminum Producers Rush to Jump Into the Auto Industry

While giant producers of the light metal like Alcoa and Novelis tried unsuccessfully for decades to lure automakers to give up the steel in favor of the way lighter material, it’s just now that their efforts could bear fruit.

A 3D-Printed Car Is Coming That Stretches the Boundaries of Design

Local Motors has been building cars with the help of community-submitted part designs for years now, but this September, it has far more ambitious plans: creating a working, 3D-printed electric vehicle, also based on a design by someone from its community.

Ford Unveils Ultra-Lightweight Fusion Concept Car

The car’s wheels and seats are carbon fiber…while the rear window is plastic.

Polymer Composites Are Heading From the Racetrack to Main Street

The new BMWi car series is the most recent evidence that plastics and polymer composites, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics, are bridging the material divide between high-performance racecars and passenger vehicles.

Google’s New Self-Driving Car: Electric, No Steering Wheel, and Incredibly Cute

The plan is to build around 200 of the mostly-plastic cars over the next year, with road testing probably restricted to California for the next year or two.

The Concept Cars That Helped Shape the Future

Exhibit in Atlanta features 17 of the most innovative ‘Dream Cars’ ever made.

Polyurethane Helps Auto Industry Meet Lightweighting Goals

Polyurethane foam offers high performance over a wide range of firmness while adding only nominal weight to the car overall.

Detroit Auto Show Recap: Automobile Lightweighting on

At the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, John McElroy, host of, moderated several panels as part of the Autoline Supplier Symposium event.

Plastics Continue to Point the Way Forward for Auto Industry

More demonstration of the capabilities of plastics and polymer composites is needed to expand the use of those materials in automotive applications, according to a new roadmap from the American Chemistry Council’s plastics division.

Plastics Makers Release Roadmap to Assist Automakers

At the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2014 World Congress & Exhibition in Detroit, the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division released an updated roadmap that will help automakers and their suppliers dramatically enhance fuel efficiency in vehicles through the adoption of plastics and polymer composites to achieve significant weight reductions.

Automotive’s Unique and Special Time

Find out what advances in technology mean for auto’s future.

Plastics Makers Announce Strategic Framework to Help Automakers, Suppliers Achieve Fuel Efficiency Standards through Vehicle Lightweighting

The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division released an updated roadmap that will help automakers and their suppliers dramatically enhance fuel efficiency in vehicles through the adoption of plastics and polymer composites to achieve significant weight reductions.

This Million-Dollar Carbon Fiber Trailer Is a Rolling Mansion

So how do you make an RV that tips into 7 figures? With Dallara’s help, Indiana-based Global Caravan Technologies built the CR-1 Carbon almost entirely out of–you guessed it–carbon fiber.

Magna to Manufacture Carbon Fiber Composite Body Panels

Says Tom Pilette, vice president of product and process development for Magna Exteriors: “By continuing to develop vehicle parts and systems with cutting-­edge materials, we are able to assist our customers meet fuel ­economy and emissions standards for their cars and trucks.”

The Revolution: How Injection Molded Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Will Be an Auto Industry Game Changer

Just imagine the possibilities for automakers working to produce stronger, lighter cars of the future if carbon fiber were infused in injection moldable plastics to the same extent glass fibers are today!

The Germans Have Figured Out How to 3-D Print Cars

EDAG’s robot built the Genesis concept by creating a thermoplastic model of the complex interior, although the company says they could use carbon fiber to make the structure both stronger and lighter.

EPA Official: Only 5% of Vehicles Sold Meet Government’s 2025 Fuel Economy Standards

Automakers have a long road ahead of them regarding the U.S. government’s 2025 fuel economy standards.

Better Mileage from New Fuel-Efficiency Norm

The government’s new fuel-efficiency guidelines for passenger vehicles will not push up cost of cars substantially, at least in the first stage that will kick in from April 2016.

Visiongain Offers New Automotive Report

The comprehensive report examines the state of the automotive composites market through 2024 and includes a broad range of supplier companies.

Carbon & Fiberglass Composite Compound Is Cheaper

For semi-structural and some structural parts in a car, carbon fiber compression molding compounds work well, and are faster to produce than the autoclave-dependent advanced materials. They’re still pricey, though. One way to lower that price is by combining them intelligently with other fibers, like glass.

A Fuel-Efficient Big Rig From Walmart That Looks Like a Smushed Corvette

The cab might look like it ran over the back half of a Corvette, but that low profile shape makes it 20 percent more aerodynamic than your standard rig. It’s towing the world’s first 53-foot carbon fiber trailer.

The Car That Runs On Air

For more than a century, air cars have remained a quixotic quest of engineers—an idealistic exercise with little long-term likelihood of entering mass production.

BMW To Offer Carbon Fiber Wheels In a Year or Two

BMW could be the first OEM to offer entire wheels in carbon fiber reinforced plastic in two years.

Carbon Fibre and Cars-2013 In Review

2013 was another big year in automotive composites.

Detroit Auto Show: Automakers Push Weight Loss to Promote Fuel Efficiency

Lightweight and luxury are watchwords at the 2014 North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

Auto Execs: US MPG Standars Within Reach, But May Change

Changes in the U.S. political climate or consumer tastes may force a revision of federal standards that require automakers to nearly double the overall gas mileage of their cars and trucks by 2025.

The Best Of The 2014 Detroit Auto Show

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the level of exuberance seemed more amped up than in previous years—automakers are throwing it all against the wall to see what awesomeness sticks.

Ford’s F-150 Gets New Look Thanks to Plastics

The all-LED headlight includes a light pipe around the lamp, which sets off the all-plastic system and makes the F-150 look like no other truck on the market, even in the dark.

Lightweighting in Cars: One Weird Chart That Should Convince Auto Makers

With strict government CAFE standards requiring higher efficiency vehicles by 2025, choosing the right materials for automotive car parts is more important than ever.

High Tech Car Door

Driving a car with disappearing doors will definitely grab everyone’s attention.

10 Most Powerful Women in Autos

A century after Henry Ford revolutionized the auto world, it’s still an old boys club. But these 10 women are leading the way in an industry overdue for change.

Plastics Make It Possible® Launches Holiday Auto Travel Poll With Chance to Win $500

Answer a few questions about auto travel while learning how plastics make possible many advances in today’s autos—and enter for a chance to win one of two $500 gift cards.

Uniqueco Working on Rugged 4×4 and Multipurpose Vehicle Built From Plastic

The company has designed two different models that use lightweight construction centered around plastic shells.

Graphene Could Boost Natural Gas-Powered Cars

The researchers were able to combine plastic and graphene to create a plastic tank capable of holding natural gas. Lighter plastic tanks could make cars more efficient by lowering the amount of fuel they need.

2013 SRT Viper Carbon Fiber X-Brace

The single-piece, all Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) X-Brace, an important structural component of the body system, was developed from lightweight carbon fiber material to maximize weight reduction and meet performance targets.

The World’s Most Hardcore Sports Car Gets Its First Update in 60 Years

The body has been shaped in the wind tunnel by its Formula 1 team and is comprised entirely of carbon fiber.

Audi: Carbon Fiber Too Expensive; Future Is In Mixing Materials

The process with the slowest speed is defining the frequency of production, Hackenberg explained, so the solution is to bring in production methods that allow lighter materials to be used selectively in combination with others that can keep costs down.

Making a Material Difference in the U.S. Automotive Industry

LANXESS is one of the chemistry companies making a material difference in the automotive industry through high-tech plastics used to lighten vehicles and synthetic rubber blends and additives for tires that have less rolling resistance.

Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Is on the Rise, Thanks in Large Part to Chemistry

Plastics, which make up 50 percent of the volume of cars but only 10 percent of the weight, help to make cars lighter and more fuel efficient and resulting in fewer CO2 emissions.

Survey: Fuel Efficiency a Top Concern of Automotive Engineers

In its annual survey of auto industry insiders, DuPont Co. and WardsAuto found that only 8 percent of the respondents expected regulations would relax, compared to nearly half—47 percent—anticipating requirements would strengthen further.

BMW Electric Car Will Offer Gas Generator to Boost Range

The i3 stands out because its main body, called the passenger cell, is made of plastic. This isn’t ordinary plastic, but carbon fiber reinforced plastic or CFRP, which BMW said is as strong as steel but weighs half as much.

BMW Dishes on “Lightweight” 2014 M4

The philosophy will be around delivering performance through improved use of materials—lightweight alloys, lots of carbon fibre etc—rather than simply trying to make the engine more powerful to move the same kind of car, or scaling it back too far so that it loses its M3 roots.

DuPont Hails Automotive Thermoplastic Composites

One of the key research directions is the reduction of vehicle mass, with the goal of reducing total weight by at least 200 kg between 2020 and 2025.

Continuous-Fiber Laminate/Overmolding Compound Combination to Further Plastic Penetration in Auto

Thermoplastic materials, with both short- and long-fiber reinforcement, have made a major contribution to lightweighting.

Driving Volkswagen’s 261 MPG Car Is Like Driving The Future

There’s carbon fiber everywhere…it has carbon-ceramic brake discs and pads, polycarbonate windows and a magnesium clutch. This was a project not many could have pulled off apart from Volkswagen, and even they had to think about it for quite a while.

Mazda: Revamped 2014 Mazada3 to Lead Compact Segment in MPG

Mazda Motor Corp.’s next-generation Mazda3, equipped with its full set of technologies developed to reduce weight and enhance fuel efficiency, will top the compact segment in fuel economy when it goes on sale in the United States in September, the automaker said today.

Plastic Oil Sumps Offer Further Lightweighting Options

Engineering plastics suppliers have uncovered another application where their offerings can substitute heavier incumbent metal technology as evidenced by two recent developments that assist auto and truck makers in improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.

Thermoplastic Composites Closer to Mass Production

A collaborative project between DuPont and Citroën has brought the use of structural thermoplastic composite parts a step closer to mass production.

Lightweight Materials, Alternative Fuels And 58 MPG 30 Years Ago? Volvo Did It

Different types of plastic, magnesium and aluminum were extensively used throughout the design, both from a weight perspective and for recycling reasons and future availability.

New Very Light Car Unveiled

Edison2, the winner of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, recently unveiled its latest Very Light Car (VLC) architecture at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Audi TT Ultra Quattro Concept: Design Gallery

The TT ultra quattro makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP).

Johnson Controls and OSU EcoCAR 2 Project Puts Green Tech in the Driver’s Seat (and the Other Seats)

A project with Johnson Automotive Controls and Ohio State University offers a pretty interesting look at what the seating of future green vehicles might be like.

Coming Soon: Your Personal Flying Car

The carbon-fiber vehicle takes off vertically, right from your driveway (presuming you have 100 ft of clearance), using electric-powered rotor blades mounted on each side.

Boeing Executive Discusses Ins and Outs of 787

Low-cost, large-scale composites manufacturing technology allows a significant increase in the use of composites on the 787.

New Research: Consumers Embrace New Fuel Economy Standard, are Purchasing More High MPG Vehicles, and Plan to Significantly Increase Fuel Efficiency in Future Purchases

First “progress report” on 54.5 mpg standard shows consumer demand strong, automakers meeting the challenge, and electrics gaining popularity.

Automotive Lightweighting Applications: The Road Ahead

Lightweighting measures are expected to be applied to every car model launched in the coming years. The average car contains 15 percent of its total weight—or roughly 400 pounds—of plastics, with its use in automotive manufacturing accelerating.