As part of the Obama Administration's "all-of-the-above" energy strategy to reduce the United States' reliance on foreign oil and save drivers money at the pump, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced seven new projects to accelerate the development and deployment of stronger and lighter materials for the next generation of American-made cars and trucks.
These projects include the development and validation of modeling tools to deliver higher performing carbon fiber composites and advanced steels, as well as research into new lightweight, high-strength alloys for energy-efficient vehicle and truck engines.
The Department of Energy (Washington, DC) has awarded two projects to validate existing modeling tools to optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of carbon fiber and other specialized composite materials for vehicle body, chassis, and interior uses. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA), is receiving an approximately $1 million investment to validate carbon fiber composite models. This project will entail integration and validation of fiber orientation and length distribution models for injection molded long-carbon-fiber thermoplastic composites. Models will be validated for a complex three-dimensional automotive part made from long-carbon-fiber thermoplastic composites.