Automotive: Light Weighting

Cleaner On The Road

Cleaner on the road

  • Weight is the enemy of fuel economy for vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
  • Weight reduces fuel economy and increases emissions per mile traveled.
  • Redesigning vehicles to use less steel and aluminum, and more carbon fiber, is the key to light-weighting.
  • Light-weighting is the final frontier for automakers, who already have improved aerodynamics, fuel chemistry, and engine performance.
  • For electric vehicles, weight reduces range, which is a critical EV problem.
  • Lighter vehicles go farther, consume less fuel, and emit less pollution.

The Problem

Nearly all automakers make their vehicles out of steel, aluminum, fiberglass and plastic. These are cost-effective materials but make for heavy vehicles.  Currently, carbon fiber composites are used sparingly, if at all, because of their high cost.  Regulators and customers are pushing the automakers to reduce tailpipe emissions and to increase mileage performance. The industry addressed this demand by improving vehicle aerodynamics and fuel chemistry and by engineering much better engine performance.  The regulatory standards have not yet been met.  Light-weighting of vehicles is the last frontier.

The Solution

CrossLink's technology and proprietary manufacturing processes allow the automakers to craft lighter vehicle components at commercial manufacturing scale.  The engineering task isn't simply to replace heavier materials with the same mass, but to redesign and re-engineer components to take advantage of the beneficial properties of CrossLink carbon fiber, which go well beyond simply weight and price. CrossLink's tailored products can provide automakers with exactly the carbon fiber properties, including tensile strength and modulus, they require.

National Science Foundation (NSF) & America's Seed Fund (SBIR.STTR)

CrossLink has been awarded multiple grants from the National Science Foundation

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