PPG Researchers Target Increased Fuel Efficiency

Last August, the Obama administration announced new fuel efficiency standards for the US’ cars and light trucks. It stated that by 2025 those vehicles must average 54.5 miles per gallon(4.3L/100Kms) – nearly double today’s average fuel efficiency!

To help vehicle manufacturers achieve this target, researchers at PPG’s Allison Park Coatings Innovation Center (CIC) are kicking off a three-year project. Funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the aim is to develop PPG pre-treatment and electrocoat technologies for the next generation of magnesium alloys. 

“These alloys are considered a significant enabler for improving automobile fuel economy,” said Dick Karabin, Associate Director of Substrate Protection and Engineered Materials at the CIC. “They’re a practical alternative for achieving more than a 50-per cent weight reduction compared to the same components manufactured from steel. This project ensures that PPG will continue to be a market leader in automotive pre-treatments and electrodeposition primers even as fabrication materials evolve for the next generation of lightweight, fuel efficient cars.” 

Work on the project will be conducted primarily at the CIC with support from PPG’s Euclid, Ohio, pre-treatment facility.

CAPTION: This demonstration automotive support structure, comprising three types of magnesium alloy, represents the materials and joints that the PPG research-and-development team expects would become part of actual vehicle construction.