Magna and Ford are developing auxiliary frames made of carbon fiber

Magna International and the Ford Motor Company are developing auxiliary frames made of a composite of carbon fiber. Design is 34 percent lighter than comparable parts of stamped steel and reduces the number of parts by 87 percent.

The auxiliary frame of carbon fiber originates from a joint research and development project of Magna and Ford

According to Magna, the auxiliary frame of carbon fiber was developed in a joint research and development project of Magna and Ford, which examines the possible advantages and technical challenges of carbon fiber reinforced composite materials in the chassis as well as the resulting weight reduction. Employees of the product groups Body & Chassis as well as Exteriors in the engineering team of Magna could significantly reduce the weight through composites and suitable production processes, it says. As Magna continues to report, compared to a corresponding piece of stamped steel, it is 34 percent less weight. In addition, 45 steel parts were replaced by two injection moldings and four metal parts, so that the number of parts processed in the subframe fell by as much as 87 percent.

The injection molded parts are joined by adhesives and structural rivets. The design corresponds to all performance requirements based on CAE analyzes (computer-aided engineering), one hears. According to Magna, they are now producing prototypes of the auxiliary frame, which then undergo component tests as well as tests on vehicles at Ford. In the test phase, the behavior in corrosion and stone impact as well as the screw relaxation are examined - aspects, which are currently not covered by CAE, according to Magna experts. Based on the experience gathered by the project team during the production and subsequent tests of the prototype, it will also provide a recommended design, manufacturing and assembly process.