Ford’s Chocolate Inspired Weight-Saving Plastic

Plastic is often used in vehicles, when the designs demand a lower weight on the vehicle, in order to increase vehicle speed or fuel efficiency. While plastic is lighter than metal, it is not as light as some designers would like. That is why car companies are working on lighter plastics, by making them with very small holes.

In their never-ending quest to reduce weight and therefore emissions and fuel use, Ford engineers have taken inspiration from the Aero chocolate bar to produce lighter plastic parts by injecting gas bubbles during manufacturing. These tiny spaces save weight by reducing the amount of plastic used, without compromising the integrity of the part.

Weight plays a key role in vehicle emissions and reducing the overall mass of the vehicle results in improvements to fuel economy and carbon emissions.

MuCell technology expert Carsten Starke is excited by the potential of the new process. He says: “The first time I saw this plastic under the microscope I thought to myself it looks like an Aero chocolate bar! The bubbles in the chocolate change the taste, but in our plastics they save weight and making cars lighter reduces emissions and fuel consumption significantly.

Technological Features:

* Honeycomb structure MuCell plastic parts save 20 per cent weight, improving fuel economy and emissions, without compromising durability * Injection of gas during moulding creates a cross-section resembling an Aero chocolate bar on a microscopic level, with the bubbles meaning less plastic is used * Parts require less energy and time to manufacture, reducing emissions and cost

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