As legislative requirements and customer expectations continue to rise, automotive manufacturers around the world are turning to proven suppliers to deliver new ideas as well as new materials. This collaboration can address complex issues such as lightweighting, parts consolidation, manufacturing efficiencies, comfort and safety.

Materials science and industry experience combine to help Dow Automotive deliver customized solutions that address very specific opportunities or application areas. Products like adhesives can be tailored to accommodate a wide variety of substrates and open times, which help manufacturers and suppliers utilize many different assembly techniques to achieve their objectives.

About vehicle lightweighting

Lightweighting generates significant value for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), since it is considered a most effective long-term solution for meeting regulated fuel efficiency and CO2 requirements. Lightweighting also supports OEMs’ sustainability objectives.

The premiums OEMs value better lightweighting results as determined by their fleet profile and the ability of any specific vehicle to influence that profile. Many OEMs have publicly described the monetary value of each kilogram saved as a route to improving fuel efficiency and exhaust emissions. The winning solution, of course, will be one to hit the target at the lowest cost.

Longer term, the absolute value of mass saving will certainly increase, not only because of more stringent emissions or fuel efficiency legislation, but also because cars will already be lighter and more efficient, making further improvement more challenging. The electrification ratio will progressively increase, requiring stronger offset of the battery mass (several hundred kilograms) and enabling more sufficient range typically restricted by stationary and dynamic masses.

Looking forward, lightweight technologies will become more cost effective through high volume processing enabling their use in larger scale. Of course there will always be alternative methods available to the OEM to improve fuel economy, but lightweighting is an underlying theme which will continue to be desirable, regardless of powertrain strategy as it allows downsizing and cost reduction in many other vehicle sub-systems. And carbon fiber as the latest material innovation now starts to become relevant as the key to mass reduction for mass production.

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