NRC, Magna to develop ultra-light materials for next-gen autos

Friday December 18, 2009
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
A new innovative partnership between Magna Exteriors and Interiors, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., and National Research Council Canada (NRC) will support the Canadian auto industry in developing next-generation vehicles with lighter, more durable parts that are safer, affordable, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. Industry Minister Tony Clement announced, as part of the collaboration agreement, the creation of the Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence at the Magna Exteriors and Interiors facility in Concord, Ont. "Research and development in the Canadian automotive sector will enhance our research capacity, fuelling made-in-Canada innovation, and generate economic opportunities for Canadian communities," Clement said. "This new innovative partnership will increase our ability to compete internationally, bring long-term benefits to the auto sector and create jobs for Canadians." This new research and development centre, which represents a joint private-public investment, will develop composite technology for the Canadian and global automotive industry. "Automotive suppliers and original equipment manufacturers that lead the industry in innovation and productivity know that vehicles of the future will need more composite content in order to provide the fuel economy, utility and safety that consumers demand," said Bob Brownlee, president of Magna Exteriors and Interiors. "The Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence will help reinforce Magna's position as a supplier of lightweight, cost-effective composite solutions to the global automotive market." The Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence will be equipped with leading-edge moulding equipment for thermoplastic composites. This will provide teams from Magna and NRC with the tools needed to work together on developing lightweight and durable automotive parts using composites such as Direct Long Fibre Thermoplastics and sheet moulding compound. These technologies have been identified as the best prospects for reducing the weight of structural car parts, making them more fuel-efficient and affordable. Joint project work in composites will begin immediately, while the new research facility is expected to be operational in summer 2010. www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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