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Dow Automotive Systems Partners with Clemson Engineering Students to Support Lightweighting Goals

04 August 2015

Dow Automotive Systems Partners with Clemson Engineering Students to Support Lightweighting Goals

Following a successful partnership in 2014, Dow Automotive Systems is again collaborating on advanced technology and application ideas with students at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).

Each year, the CU-ICAR students work with an automotive manufacturer to develop a concept vehicle that achieves futuristic goals. This year’s version, the Deep Orange 5 vehicle, is focused on achieving personal urban mobility for so-called mega-cities in 2020, and is targeted for marketing to generations Y and Z. Working collaboratively, students, multidisciplinary faculty and participating industry partners like Dow Automotive Systems focus on producing a new vehicle prototype each year.

According to Dow, this year, CU-ICAR students specified its BETAFORCE and BETAMATE structural adhesives as part of the Deep Orange 5 vehicle joining strategy, with the goal of successfully bonding aluminium and carbon fibre composite for body panels and the vehicle structure.

Dow says its epoxy resins were also specified for the upper body structures that were produced via a resin transfer moulding on a carbon fibre pre-form. The carbon fibre and epoxy materials enabled weight savings and helped create a lower centre of gravity for the vehicle.

“To help the Deep Orange development team achieve their lightweighting goals, Dow Automotive Systems created a customised formulation of a VORAFORCE epoxy resin matrix system,” said Allan James, Composite Structures Marketing Manager at Dow Automotive Systems. “This enabled the VORAFORCE to offer an adjusted cure time to work with the Deep Orange development system. It’s exactly like the collaborative work we do with customers. Once we understand their production goals and systems, we can formulate products that meet specific needs.”

“Working with the experienced team and proven materials from Dow Automotive Systems gave us great insight and helped us achieve some of our most important goals,” said Dr. Paul Venhovens, BMW Endowed Chair in Systems Integration at CU-ICAR. “We were pleased to successfully bond dissimilar substrates and get an epoxy system for the carbon fibre structures that would support our production capabilities. We look forward to working with Dow Automotive Systems again on the Deep Orange 6 vehicle.”

Photo provided by Clemson University.





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