By Michael Lauzon, Plastics News
Concord, Ontario -- Magna International Inc. and the National Research Council Canada are setting up a research centre to develop lightweight, strong composite parts for vehicles.
The Magna-NRC Composite Centre of Excellence will be established in the Magna Exteriors and Interiors facility in Concord, Ontario, north of Toronto. Its aim is to come up with parts that are safe, affordable, environmentally friendly and fuel efficient for the Canadian and global automotive industry.
The centre will be equipped with modern moulding equipment for thermoplastic composites, the partners announced 18 Dec. Technologies include direct long fibre thermoplastics and sheet moulding compound. The partners said such technologies have been identified as the best prospects for reducing the weight of structural car parts, making them more fuel efficient and affordable.
Research will begin immediately and the new centre is expected to be operating in summer of 2010.
"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," noted Magna Exteriors and Interiors president Bob Brownlee in a news release.
"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," Brownlee explained.
Also present at the centre announcement in Ottawa were federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement and NRC president Pierre Coulombe.