CALM aims to develop lightweight materials for automotive

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) has launched the Coalition of Automotive Lightweighting Materials (CALM) to accelerate development of mixed-material solutions to reduce vehicle weight.

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The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) has launched the Coalition of Automotive Lightweighting Materials (CALM), which will aim to accelerate the development of mixed-material solutions that will reduce vehicle weight.

“The aluminium and plastics/composites industries are developing advanced materials to help automakers design lighter and safer cars," notes Dr Jay Baron, CAR president, and the director of CALM. "Leading technology companies are also developing weight-saving solutions that include these materials along with steel for new applications. By working together we can accelerate the application of these progressive materials and solutions.”

CALM is supported by The Aluminum Association’s Aluminum Transportation Group, and the American Chemistry Council, which, combined, represent a membership of more than 200 companies.

Integrating advanced low-weight materials can present challenges with the design, joining, and structural validation. By working collaboratively with car makers, CALM aims to overcome these challenges.

Lightweight materials are one of the key technologies needed to produce more fuel efficient cars for the 21st century. Partnerships like CALM will help automotive companies utilise plastics, composites and other lightweight materials to meet these goals.

One of CALM's first tasks will be to meet with the engineering groups at the carmakers to understand their mass reduction strategies and challenges so that the supplier industries can develop their technology solutions with each car company.

Organisations supporting CALM include 3M, Altair, BASF, EWI, Material Sciences Corpo., Michelin, Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior, PPG Industries, Shiloh Industries and Trexel.