The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing nearly $22 million in funding to support seven new projects aimed at developing stronger, lighter materials that will help improve fuel efficiency in automotive applications.
‘Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials – including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum, and carbon fiber composites – allows vehicle manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing their weight,’ the DOE says. ‘Using lighter materials also reduces a vehicle's fuel consumption. Reducing a vehicle's weight by just 10 percent can improve the fuel economy by six to eight percent.’
The funds will support R&D in two main areas:
Carbon fiber composites and advanced steel. Two projects will ‘validate existing modeling tools to optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of carbon fiber and other specialized composite materials,’ the DOE says. Another $6 million will go toward developing new modeling tools to improve third-generation high-strength steels.
Advanced alloy development for automotive and heavy-duty engines. Four projects will focus on advanced materials for engine blocks and cylinder heads.
Details about the projects are available HERE.