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Magna sweeps SPE Automotive Composites Conference awards

A carbon fiber subframe won for process innovation, a reclaimed carbon fiber body panel won for materials innovation, and both products tied for the People’s Choice award.


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October 2, 2017 by Canadian Plastics

Canadian automotive parts supplier Magna International Inc. swept all three awards given at the recent Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition.

The awards recognize outstanding innovations in the development and use of composites in the automotive industry.


Magna went 3-for-3 at this year’s SPE Automotive Composites Conference.

“Our focus on design and material science drives the development of new and compelling products to help shape the car of the future,” said Magna Exteriors president Grahame Burrow. “We are honoured to receive recognition from SPE for these achievements that demonstrate our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that excite our customers.”

A prototype carbon fiber subframe developed jointly by Magna and the Ford Motor Co. won the Process Innovation award. The Magna/Ford concept achieves a 34 per cent mass reduction and an 87 per cent reduction in the number of parts compared to stamped steel, Magna said. Prototype subframes are being produced by Magna for component and vehicle-level testing at Ford.

Aurora, Ont.-based Magna won the Materials Innovation award for its class-A body panel made from reclaimed carbon fiber. The panel weighs 30 to 40 per cent less than an aluminum version.

Both products tied for the People’s Choice award, which was determined by votes from the conference attendees.

The Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition was held in Novi, Mich. from Sept. 6 to 8. The event is designed to educate and update transportation OEMs and suppliers about the benefits of thermoset and thermoplastic composites in passenger vehicles, light trucks, and other ground transportation applications.