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Using smart materials to solve new challenges in the automotive industry
Author(s): Kerrie K. Gath; Clay Maranville; Janice Tardiff
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Paper Abstract

Ford has an extensive history of developing and utilizing smart and innovative materials in its vehicles. In this paper, we present new challenges the automotive industry is facing and explore how intelligent uses of smart materials can help provide solutions. We explore which vehicle attributes may provide most advantageous for the use smart materials, and discuss how smart material have had technical challenges that limit their use. We also look at how smart materials such as gecko inspired adhesion is providing opportunities during the vehicle assembly process by improving manufacturing quality, environmental sustainability, and worker safety. An emerging area for deployment of smart materials may involve autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions, where customer expectations are migrating toward a seamless and adaptive experience leading to new expectations for an enhanced journey. Another area where smart materials are influencing change is interior and exterior design including smart textiles, photochromatic dyes, and thermochromatic materials. The key to advancing smart materials in automotive industry is to capitalize on the smaller niche applications where there will be an advantage over traditional methods. Ford has an extensive history of developing and utilizing smart and innovative materials. Magnetorheological fluids, thermoelectric materials, piezoelectric actuators, and shape memory alloys are all in production. In this paper we present new challenges the automotive industry is facing and explore how intelligent uses of smart materials can help provide solutions. We explore which vehicle attributes may provide most advantageous for the use smart materials, and discuss how smart materials have had technical challenges that limit their use. An emerging area for deployment of smart materials may involve autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions, where customer expectations may require a seamless and adaptive experience for users having various expectations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2018
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 10602, Smart Structures and NDE for Industry 4.0, 1060202 (27 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2296622
Show Author Affiliations
Kerrie K. Gath, Ford Motor Co. (United States)
Clay Maranville, Ford Motor Co. (United States)
Janice Tardiff, Ford Motor Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10602:
Smart Structures and NDE for Industry 4.0
Norbert G. Meyendorf; Dan J. Clingman, Editor(s)

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