Ford Motors is looking into a new technology produced at MIT labs that could make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient by injecting micro bubbles into plastic components. The technology, which is now owned by Trexel, is called MuCell and revolves around the controlled injection of gas, such as carbon or nitrogen, into the injection molding process of plastic. By inserting millions of non-uniform bubbles into plastic parts, the plastic becomes much lighter while still maintaining its durability and performance.
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Ford Motors estimates that MuCell technology could drop vehicle weight by 10 percent. As a result, your average Ford vehicle could become between 250 and 750 lbs lighter. Ford is hoping to integrate the substance into every vehicle by 2020.
While this will make cars lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient, it still doesn’t address their usage of fossil fuels. Still, it’s a short-term solution and there’s no reason why MuCell couldn’t be use in other industries.