- R&D 100 Awards
Many automotive companies are working to incorporate materials that are more lightweight into their products, hoping to decrease the weight of the vehicle and thus decrease fuel consumption. However, incorporating lightweight materials into automobile components and processes is very difficult using conventional processes, such as welding, to join dissimilar materials with different melting points—for example, polymers and metals or aluminum and steel. The Friction Stir Scribe Process for Joining Dissimilar Materials addresses this challenge—constituting the first-ever technology that joins dissimilar materials with drastically different melting points in a continuous, linear or curved manner without the need for additional adhesives, bolts and rivets. This innovative technology overcomes a significant technical hurdle in incorporating lightweight materials into vehicles without sacrificing strength or durability. It unlocks opportunities to incorporate new and different materials into strong, lightweight parts for automobiles that will lower fuel expenses for drivers, reduce harmful emissions to the environment and help the United States and other countries meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations that will help move us into a clean energy economy.