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Magna International Inc., (Troy, Mich.) in cooperation with Ford Motor Co., has developed a prototype carbon fiber composite subframe that reportedly reduces mass by 34 percent compared to making a stamped steel equivalent.

By replacing 45 steel parts with two molded and four metallic parts, the prototype subframe achieves a 87 percent reduction in the number of parts. The moldings are joined by adhesive bonding and structural rivets.

The carbon fiber subframe is the result of a research and development project between Magna and Ford to investigate potential mass-reduction benefits and technical challenges of using carbon fiber-reinforced composites in chassis applications. The subframe is a key part of a vehicle’s structure, typically providing a place to attach the engine and wheels while also contributing rigidity and crash management.

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