Microscopic cell technology in new Ford Escape helps cut weight, increase fuel-economy

It seems like everyday before the 2013 Ford Escape actually makes its world debut at the 2011 LA Auto Show (next week), FoMoCo will drop some info on the new crossover to keep the buzz going. Today, Ford tells us that microscopic cells helped in cutting weight of the new Escape ultimately increasing the fuel-saving capability of the vehicle.

Invented by the geniuses at MIT, the technology, known as MuCell, was created for development and commercial use in the injection molding industry worldwide. The process involves the highly controlled use of a gas (such as CO2 or nitrogen) in the injection-molding process, which creates millions of tiny-sized bubbles, lowering the weight of the plastic part. That part is used on the instrument panel of the new Escape.

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“Ford is focused on leveraging innovations in materials that save weight and boost fuel economy, helping our vehicles travel farther on less gas,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of global product development. “MuCell is a great example of this effort.”

The benefits of all this?

  • Creating the instrument panel structure in microcellular foam saves an estimated $3 per vehicle in the United States vs. solid injection molding.
  • Weight is reduced by more than 1 lb.
  • Molding cycle time is reduced 15 percent
  • Molding clamp tonnage is reduced 45 percent.

Interesting stuff huh?

– By: Omar Rana