How is Dow Empowering Innovation Through Collaboration?
Collaboration has always been part of accelerating innovation at Dow.
We teamed up with mobility pioneer Louis Chevrolet early in the 20th Century to incorporate lightweight Dowmetal™ pistons into his new eight-cylinder “Frontenac” racing car - a car that driver Tommy Minton drove to victory at the 1921 Indianapolis 500.
A century later, we are the Official Materials Science Partner of Jaguar’s Formula E team, Jaguar TCS Racing, working together to advance safety, comfort, range and energy consumption of electric vehicles (EVs) on the track and on the road.
After partnering successfully with mobility OEMs and their suppliers for more than 100 years, we are committed to working together daily to solve the biggest materials challenges.
How do we reinvent mobility as a sustainable, low-carbon industry without compromising on efficiency, performance, and safety? How do we do it for internal combustion engines, hybrids, EVs, or alternative power sources such as hydrogen fuel cells?
From our experience, we’ll get much further together. Collaboration with like-minded mobility partners enables us to tap into one another’s deep expertise and incorporate the latest research, processes and developing technologies to help shape the mobility of tomorrow.
Learn what Collaboration means to our partner and Jaguar TCS Racing Team Director, James Barclay, and MobilityScience™ Vice President, Tim Boven.
Take a deep dive into some of our recent collaborations below.
Jaguar TCS Racing
RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING
Partnering with Hella to Develop the Future of Automotive Lighting
Partnering with Daimler AG, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. developed the groundbreaking MULTIBEAM ADAPTIVE LED headlight. Incorporating 84 individually controllable LED pixels arrayed in three rows, the headlight dynamically distributes light in real time based on changing traffic, weather and road conditions. It also enables the high beam function to be used more frequently to provide greater safety. Distributing light evenly from the module’s 84 LEDs required design of a complicated primary lens structure incorporating 84 light guides. The primary lens material needed to be highly flexible and durable to perform reliably during long exposure to high temperatures and photodensities.
Hella’s search for a solution led it to Dow for our global leadership a global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology, and innovation. With assistance from our MobilityScience™ experts, Hella eventually specified SILASTIC™ MS-1002 Moldable Silicone which, exhibiting 72 Shore A, delivered the most suitable combination of hardness and elongation to produce complex lenses. SILASTIC™ MS-1002 Moldable Silicone is a highly transparent material that processes easily at room temperature and exhibits very low viscosity before cure. Combined with its high elongation and tear strength and easy demolding performance, these qualities significantly expand design possibilities for fabrication of complex shapes, micro-scale optical structures, multifunctional parts, and undercuts that are difficult to achieve with organic polymers. The outstanding thermal stability of SILASTIC™ MS-1002 Moldable Silicone was the most critical attribute.
“Dow’s close collaboration with us throughout our product development process helped to ensure we achieved the optimal performance of SILASTIC™ MS-1002 Moldable Silicone in our application. As an innovation partner, Dow is highly responsive and even proactive with regard to our design challenges, and they took ownership of our success at every step, from design through the molding process. Their leadership in silicone science offered important support to Hella’s leadership in automotive lighting design.”
Partnering with HiPhi to Develop Sustainable Silicone Leather Seat
Innovative Chinese automotive startup HiPhi approached Dow Mobility’s team in China in 2019 about developing a revolutionary high-end, sustainable synthetic leather material for seats. They wanted it to match or exceed the finest Nappa leather in terms of touch, appearance, and experience without use of volatile solvents and plasticizers. Ultimately, they wanted a luxurious, odorless, low-carbon, environmentally friendly material for their first luxury electric SUV vehicle, the HiPhi X, launched in 2021.
LuxSense™ Silicone Synthetic Leather is the world’s first high-end silicone-based synthetic leather material to meet specifications in mobility seats and interiors, as well as furniture, fashion, wearable devices and consumer electronics. It delivers a luxurious sense of sight in terms of cleanliness, durability, color personalization and design freedom. The LuxSense™ Brand also avoids DMF and plasticizer usage, providing enhanced sustainability, as well as superior UV resistance and hydrolysis resistance that effectively prevents leather aging.
High flame retardancy is coupled with self-extinguishable features, and no harmful gasses are released in the event of a fire, making it a safe option for use in confined spaces. LuxSense™ Brand adopts the innovative top coating technique to ensure fresh and non-tacky touch even in sultry and humid environments.
Witness the performance of LuxSense™ Silicone Leather, designed to meet automotive interior demands, including stain resistance and safer materials.
Ding Lei, Founder Chairman, CEO of Human Horizons at HiPhi EV
“Cooperation between HiPhi and Dow, from functional thinking to experience thinking, truly broke the traditional cooperation model between automakers, parts suppliers and raw material companies to create a low-carbon and environmentally friendly future travel mode for consumers.”
Dr. Yao Weiguang, Chief Technology Officer at Dow Asia Pacific
“Dow is committed to material innovation to help achieve sustainable development. This joint exploration will contribute to the safety, health and comfort of a new generation of vehicles, while also proposing a new model for upstream and downstream cooperation.”
Partnering with Adient and Autoneum to Foster Circular Economy Mobility Solutions
Driven by market demand, industry goals, and higher regulatory standards for reduced emissions and waste, automotive OEMs are actively seeking more circular solutions to help reach their sustainability goals. New viable physical and chemical recycling techniques to obtain new, high-quality feedstocks are needed.
A New Solution
Dow incorporated an advanced recycling mass-balance approach to the production of new polyurethane solutions based on a circular feedstock sourced from a waste product of the mobility sector that replaces virgin fossil-fuel based feedstock. New SPECFLEX™ C and VORANOL™ C product ranges are now offered to the mobility sector in collaboration with leading automotive suppliers Adient plc and Autoneum Holding AG.
Launched in 2021, SPECFLEX™ C and VORANOL™ C are designed to help automotive OEMs meet their market and regulatory demands for more circular products and reach their sustainability goals. Recycled feedstock is now being used to produce circular polyurethane-based products that match the performance of existing products while reducing the use of fossil feedstocks. Both products are certified by an independent mass-balance certification agency which validates that the quantity of polyurethane intermediates produced from recycled materials corresponds to the appropriate quantity of end-product, confirming that the reporting is accurate and auditable – a true service to society, following ISO 14044.
Dr. Esther Quintanilla, Global Strategic Marketing Leader at Dow Polyurethanes
“Dow’s industry-leading feedstock flexibility capability enables us to explore new feed streams that others may not be able to accommodate. We continue to innovate and expand our flexibility to incorporate ever more circular feedstocks into the mix."
David Nash, vice president Foam & Trim EMEA at Adient
“The urgent need to decarbonize the automotive industry goes far beyond powertrain emissions. In collaboration with Dow, we have reached this significant milestone of a product design which creates a circular economy.”
Philippe Godano, Global Product Manager, Interior & Product Marketing Manager at Autoneum
“The new foam systems not only offer the same benefits as current automotive polyurethane foams, but also lower the cradle-to-gate carbon footprint of cars significantly. By making use of recycled and locally obtained automotive waste, the products are also in line with Autoneum’s efforts in exploring shorter and more sustainable raw material supply chains.”
Learn how the collaboration with Adient and Autoneum is advancing sustainability.
Partnering with Jaguar TCS Racing on EV Thermal Management
Among the primary challenges of maximizing EV performance is perfecting thermal management, from enhanced utilization of waste heat to more optimized cooling of key components. This is especially true for Jaguar TCS Racing’s I-TYPE 6 race car where the car is being pushed to the absolute limit.
As the Official Materials Science Partner of Jaguar TCS Racing, Dow’s MobilityScience™ engineers came alongside the racing team to identify key challenges to racecar performance, safety and efficiency, and determine the materials that may solve them. In the case of thermal management, this consisted of understanding their unique requirements and existing limitations.
In a relatively short time, Dow was able to help the team determine the thermal interface material that provided the greatest optimized performance in not just thermal conductivity, but resistance and durability as well. Dow’s solution was also able to help protect and regulate necessary components in the crucial powertrain, in spite of each component having its own preferred environment and temperature.
Learn more about the importance of thermal management with Jaguar TCS Racing Team Principal James Barclay and MobilityScience™ Vice President Tim Boven.
James Barclay, Team Principal at Jaguar TCS Racing
“Dow and Jaguar TCS Racing team engineers have been working together day in and day out to innovate products that can help deliver performance on the track and off. Thanks to this collaboration, in highly competitive international motorsport, we’re on the front-lines of researching, developing, and testing the critical solutions that will realize tangible benefits to electric mobility, from lightweighting and energy efficiency to sustainability."
Tim Boven, MobilityScience™ Vice President, Dow
“The partnership with Jaguar TCS Racing has been phenomenal. Competing in formula E is, for us, like a high throughput laboratory. We can get materials into the design, we can put them on the track, we can get real-time data. We're seeing now what future requirements will transcend into the EVs on the road tomorrow.”
Partnering with Bridgestone to Develop Recyclable Tire Sealant Technology
Roughly one-third of all new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. today are no longer equipped with a spare tire due to increased demand and availability of extended mobility solutions such as self-sealing and run-flat tire technologies. Unfortunately, most of the existing conventional sealant materials are difficult to separate from tires, which compromises tire repairability, end-of-life tire recycling and tire material circularity.
After more than four years of joint research and development, in June 2022 Bridgestone introduced B-SEALS, the first-ever extended mobility self-sealing tire solution that can be easily recycled at end of life. This breakthrough technology - using newly developed SILASTIC™ self-sealing silicone material - provides excellent sealant performance in the event of a puncture without compromising sustainability. B-SEALS sealant can be efficiently separated from tires to promote tire repairability and potentially extends the amount of time a tire is in service.
Bridgestone will initially offer tires with B-SEALS sealant technology to OEMs looking to reduce vehicle weight and improve overall efficiency as more electric vehicles come to market.
Bob Lux, Bridgestone Director of Consumer Program Engineering
“Our partnership with Dow has enabled us to create a first-of-its-kind technology that combines performance with sustainability. B-SEALS exemplifies how we are using innovation and collaboration to develop mobility solutions that are safer, more efficient, and more sustainable. We are proud of this new product and continue to envision technologies that put mobility at the forefront of a sustainable future.”
Charlie Zimmer, Global Business Director of Dow Performance Silicones & Specialty Materials
“Dow is delighted to commercialize the world’s first silicone self-sealing tire solution to better provide passengers with safety, durability, comfort, and sustainability benefits. As a global materials science leader, we look forward to a strong collaboration with Bridgestone to enable sustainable mobility through our novel tire solution — advancing our collective journey to a carbon-neutral world.”
Problem Solving with Richard Childress Racing to Optimize Racing Performance
Bringing a concept to life that encapsulates the need for speed, performance, safety and innovation is no small feat – but with Dow, it’s possible. Richard Childress Racing (RCR) approached Dow on Monday morning after a weekend race – the tire rubber of the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet was sticking to the wheel, slowing them down. They were hoping for a solution to prepare them for the following Sunday, so Dow got to work.
Our partnership with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) goes beyond the Diamond on the hood of the car, and much further than the finish line. Collaboration is at Dow’s core and allows us to utilize the power of materials science to advance the mobility industry. Together, scientists and engineers from RCR and our Materials Engineering Center (MEC) develop, test and apply innovative technology ready for the racetrack to help increase performance and safety of the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet.
In a relatively short time, Dow helped the team with a quick fix for the sticking rubber and, with RCR, found a silicone mold release gel as a long-term solution. Under significant pressure and speed, value must be added safely and competitively. This silicone mold release gel works by creating a barrier between the wheel and any rubber flung up from the tires and track during the race. Keeping the tire rubber from sticking to the wheel maintains the wheel’s light weight design and prevents undesirable imbalance effects.
No matter the need, Dow’s MEC team brings extensive engineering knowledge and expertise to every unique task.
Whatever your challenge, we want to hear from you! Dow MobilityScience™ is uniquely positioned to help you make the adequate chemistry and materials choice to accelerate development and navigate the ever-changing mobility landscape. Driven by imagination and expertise, innovation starts here.