Carbon fibre offers next-level mass reduction – Ford

Ford’s lightweight materials expert believes carbon fibre is trending towards broader adoption; here he tells why this isn’t just the same old story. By Freddie Holmes

Despite its widespread use in various industries such as aerospace, aviation and even travel luggage, carbon fibre has become particularly synonymous with fast cars. Early publicity generated from its use by ultra-high-performance brands such as Koenigsegg, McLaren and Aston Martin has only further underlined this association.

Today, the material can be found in several mass produced premium vehicles, often hidden away within the body structure as opposed to being on display for aesthetic purposes. If current projections are anything to go by, carbon fibre will continue to filter through the vehicle segments as advances in materials science and manufacturing processes allow for higher volume production.

With global responsibility for composites and fibre-reinforced material development, Patrick Blanchard, Technical Leader – Lightweight Materials, at Ford’s Dearborn-based Research & Innovation Centre, works in the development of new materials and manufacturing methods across the entire vehicle, often in tandem with suppliers….