Putting a spring into vehicle fuel efficiency

Dr Ben Wood, lead researcher, WMG at the University of Warwick
Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have won research funding worth £250,000 from Innovate UK for a project that will put a (polymer) spring into vehicle fuel efficiency.

The project is led by The Institute of Spring Technology that, together with researchers at WMG, will be developing a method to create accurate flat blank polymer templates with bespoke reinforced plastic cross-section that automotive manufacturers can then use to manufacture polymer springs for the automotive/transport sector.

Dr Ben Wood, WMG’s lead researcher on the project, said: “The ‘blanks’ and the final springs will be made of a thermoplastic material reinforced with fibres which, when used in the automotive sector, will result in improved efficiency through light-weighting resulting in lower emissions; increased fuel efficiency; and improvements in air quality, with associated improvements in public health and environmental impact.”

The researchers will devise material specifications for the reinforced polymer spring material, based on load cases, usage criteria and desired thermo-mechanical properties high and low temperature performance, creep and fatigue life.

Richard Dignall, technical director, The Institute of Spring Technology added: “The level of knowledge, skill, energy and enthusiasm within the Consortium will ensure a successful outcome to the initial feasibility study with an aim of keeping British spring manufacturing at the spearhead of technology and innovation”

Tom Austin-Morgan

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