Cytec Industries Inc. (Woodland Park, N.J.) announced on Aug. 13 that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Coventry, U.K.-based luxury vehicle manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover. The scope of the collaboration includes developing designs, materials and manufacturing concepts for the cost-effective use of composites materials for automotive structures. Cytec has a long history of supplying advanced composite materials to aerospace programs, including commercial customers such as Boeing and Airbus.
“We are excited about this opportunity to develop composite materials for high-volume serial automotive vehicles and are pleased to partner in this initiative with Jaguar Land Rover, which is known for its excellence in technological and design innovations,” says Shane Fleming, Cytec’s chairman, president and CEO. “The use of carbon fiber-based structural composites will play an instrumental role in reducing vehicle weight and greatly lowering CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions and fuel consumption.”
According to Fleming, the partnership with Jaguar Land Rover was driven by Cytec’s strategic plan to grow its presence in high-performance industrial markets, and the company believes its successes in the aerospace industry are transferable to the automotive sector. Cytec says it will leverage not only its existing capabilities, but also what it calls “state-of-the-art application development capabilities” in the U.K., gained as a result of its recent acquisition of Umeco Plc (Heanor, Derbyshire, U.K.). For its part, Umeco reported in June that it had taken the lead in a consortium that includes Aston Martin Lagonda (Gaydon, Warwick, U.K.), Delta Motorsport Ltd. (Northants, U.K.), ABB Robotics (Zurich, Switzerland) and Pentangle Engineering Services Ltd. (Grantham, Lincolnshire, U.K.). Named ACOMPLICE (Affordable COMPosites for LIghtweight Car structurEs), this partnership also will address the growing pressure on the mainstream automotive sector to manufacture lightweight, fuel-efficient vehicles that meet reduced CO2 emission targets. The group plans to examine the potential for using high-performance composites in mainstream production cars.