Increasing fuel efficiency standards, carbon emissions regulations, plug-in range limitations and the high costs of infrastructure repairs are fueling the need for lighter components across the entire transportation industry. Dow continues to develop high-performance solutions that are enabling the transportation industry to reduce component weight while also enhancing structural integrity.
Solutions like a structural foam that is more than 40 percent more mass efficient compared to steel at equivalent weight, enabling downgauging while maintaining or improving crashworthiness. Or an improved catalyst technology that allows for potential lightweighting without loss of stiffness. And specialty elastomers for thermoplastic polyolefin, which can contribute to lighter-weight interior applications, such as instrument panel skins, door panels, consoles and seating applications.
Dow is currently on the cutting edge of carbon fiber composite R&D with global automotive manufacturers. Carbon fiber composites have been used in aerospace and racing cars for decades, but their high cost has prohibited their use in mainstream applications. Automotive OEMs are turning to Dow to help develop a lower cost solution because of our strengths in R&D, materials science and high-volume polymer processing.