The automotive industry is an integral component of Ontario’s economy. With the highest density of Tier suppliers in North America, Ontario’s automotive industry manufactures 30 per cent of all parts on North American vehicles. Worldwide, the industry is pushing for lightweight solutions as a means of enabling alternative power train vehicles and improving fuel economy in conventional vehicles.
Polymer composites are among the lowest density structural materials, giving them strength and stiffness-to-weight ratios that can exceed steel and aluminum. Therefore, they are of great interest to any industry that would benefit from mass reduction.
Development efforts by the automotive industry in this direction are focused on building confidence that a new material, process or product will perform reliably - developing technical knowledge that will offer a competitive edge in the market. Academic research questions in the field revolve around understanding the interactions between materials, processes, and properties so that performance can be predicted and controlled.
ICRC’s research is built around the synergy of these complimentary, but different goals.