Nanocomposites for Automotive Applications

Development of High Performance Polymer Nanocomposites for

ACAR mirror housingMechanical and electrical properties of polymer composites are important for metal replacement in automotives. Using innovative processes and materials, two types of polymer nanocomposites with synergetic improvement in impact strength/tensile strength have been developed. Two projects were initiated under the A*CAR consortia to develop high performance polymer nanocomposites for automotive applications. In order to be able to replace metal,  improved nanocomposites of comparable strength for the intended application were fabricated. Polymer nanocomposites of enhanced matrix-filler compatibility were fabricated to achieve improvement in mechanical and electrical properties.

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Yu Suzhu (

The two research projects are aligned with the A*CAR consortia in A*Star whereby a group of companies collaborated for a common goal in research.Fuel fill flap ACAR II strated their intended applications.


The improved nanocomposites have been put in application through the fabrication of two different automotive parts. The nanocomposite of improved impact and tensile strength is used to fabricate an automotive rear mirror housing, seen in Photo (a). A fuel fill flap part was fabricated using nanocomposites of low electrical resistivity and improved tensile strength, seen in Photo (b).

(a)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (b)

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Metal Rubber

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Terrible, horrible things can be done to this millimeters-thick patch of shimmering material crafted by chemists at NanoSonic in Blacksburg, Virginia. Twist it, stretch it double, fry it to 200°C, douse it with jet fuel—the stuff survives. After the torment, it snaps like rubber back to its original shape, all the while conducting electricity like solid metal. “Any other material would lose its conductivity,” says Jennifer Hoyt Lalli, NanoSonic’s director of nanocomposites.
The abused substance is called Metal Rubber, and, according to NanoSonic, its particular properties make it unique in the world of material chemistry

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