Ricardo plc COO Mark Garrett (left) and AEC VP of business development Brian Coffenberry (right).
Ricardo plc COO Mark Garrett (left) and AEC VP of business development Brian Coffenberry (right).

Ricardo will collaborate with Albany Engineered Composites to develop Albany’s aerospace composites for the global automotive industry. 

‘We’re excited to leverage our experience with 3D and other advanced composite technologies in the automotive industry,’ said Brian Coffenberry, vice president of business development for research & technology at AEC. ‘The ability to lightweight with durability has been a technology enabler for our aerospace customers, and we believe our partnership with Ricardo can deliver the same technology advances to automotive customers.’

Energy absorption

Under the terms the agreement, Ricardo and Albany Engineered Composites will explore the use of AEC technologies such as 3D composites for providing the stiffness, strength, durability and energy absorption necessary to lightweight applications such as crash structures. Often these structures are made of metal and are difficult to replace with a lighter weight materials while maintaining performance requirements. 

For automotive, the focus will be on reducing body and chassis mass, while also maintaining vehicle structural and safety performance. ‘[…]we work to find further weight reductions in vehicles to meet future CO2 reductions,” said Ricardo plc chief operating officer Mark Garrett. ‘As industry experts forecast significant reductions in the cost of carbon composites, along with continuous improvements in related manufacturing cycle times, this becomes an attractive solution for the structural components of future global car platforms.’