American fuel economy regulations are creating an interest in plastic vehicle components. A Ford car made 1250 lbs lighter than the equivalent steel vehicle by the use of carbon fibres to the greatest extent is described. Body panels, structural members, wheels and drive shaft have been made in carbon fibre reinforced epoxy resin. However, the weight saving although increasing fuel economy, greatly increases the initial cost. Other disadvantages discussed relate to cost and profitability. The manufacturing techniques adopted to produce the plastic components are explained, together with their properties. The ratios of strength to weight of several different types of carbon fibre composites are given. Relative fatigue strengths are also examined. Some of the anticipated weight savings gained by replacing various steel components by carbon-reinforced plastics are discussed. It is expected that us legislation will require even greater fuel economy after 1985 and that there will be a need for similar laws in the UK. /TRRL/

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Morgan-Grampian Limited

    30 Calderwood Street
    London SE18 6QH,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Waterman, N
  • Publication Date: 1978-9-14

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 48
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 247
    • Issue Number: 6390
    • Publisher: Morgan-Grampian Limited
    • ISSN: 0013-7758

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00189204
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 12 1979 12:00AM