Composite Aluminum Foam Technology for Safer Structures and Vehicles

In today’s automotive design environment, balancing vehicle structural safety against the need for lightweighting has become a ubiquitous challenge. Systems such as seat belt restraints, air bags, antilock braking (ABS), adaptive headlights, and emergency stop assistance technologies have made vehicles safer based on the reduced number of accident deaths per mile driven. But with all of those systems in place, the U.S. still has between 30,000 to 40,000 motor vehicle accident deaths each year, and that trend has remained relatively constant for the past three decades.

In order to address this challenge, we have developed a unique lightweighting technology, known as a Uniform Deceleration Unit (UDU). This aluminum composite foam technology is designed to meet the need for improved passive structural safety in vehicles, while at the same time creating a new playbook for lightweighting in many structural areas of the vehicle, such as electric vehicle (EV) battery packs.