ACCE speaker to consider composites as alternative to metal forming

Kalyan Sehanobish, scientist from the Dow Chemical Co., will present “A Vision for Carbon Fiber Composites in Automotive” at the ninth annual SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) in Troy, Mich., on Sept. 15.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive and Composites Divisions have announced that  Kalyan Sehanobish, distinguished scientist from the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.), will give the opening keynote at the ninth-annual SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) in Troy, Mich., on Sept. 15, from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.

His speech, “A Vision for Carbon Fiber Composites in Automotive,” is of great interest to automakers struggling to reduce vehicle mass without compromising safety, aesthetics, or component costs. Carbon composites will be featured on many of the vehicles on display at the show and in numerous papers presented in the event’s technical sessions.

Sehanobish promises to provide an overview of not only the opportunities that carbon composites present, but also the numerous challenges that must be overcome before they become a viable material/process option on more than a handful of low-volume/high-performance vehicles. “Currently, the composites industry lacks any real alternative to high-speed metal-stamping technology,” explains Sehanobish. Carbon fiber composites in particular really lag the metal-forming industries in terms of fast, low-cost fabrication technologies. Present technology is both hostage to excessively costly precursor and to slow and costly conversion technologies.  While this is likely to improve somewhat as carbon fiber supply increases, still no single commercial entity is going to take on the challenge of delivering low-cost carbon fiber without a commitment for serious growth of these materials in ground transportation and a less-costly manufacturing strategy. To solve the complex and formidable challenges before us will require a consortium of industries coming together and attacking the problem from all angles."

For more information about the SPE Automotive Composites Conference (Sept. 15-16 in Troy, Mich., USA), visit the Composites’ Division website at www.4spe.org/communities/divisions/d39.php, or the Automotive Division’s website at www.speautomotive.com/comp.htm , or contact the group at +1 248-244-8993.