April 28, 2005

GM, government provide $3 million for automotive plastics research

Montreal, Quebec – Funding from General Motors of Canada, the Science and Engineering Research Canada (NSERC), the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) and École Polytechnique will provide Professor François Trochu and his team with more than $3 million over the next five years as they work to develop and help to commercialize new technologies for moulding light-weight composite materials in high volumes and cost competitive for the automotive industry. General Motors will contribute $1.25 million, while NSERC and the CRC will contribute $1 million each.

“GM Canada’s engineering know-how, combined with the expertise of Professor Trochu and his team (which comprises research associates, technicians and a dozen students) will contribute to our country’s competitiveness in the automotive sector,” said Robert L. Papineau, Director General of École Polytechnique.

The Research Chair will study various polymer composites that offer great potential as lightweight and corrosion-free materials for industrial applications. The emergence of optimized and low-cost methods to manufacture high-performance composites is a major scientific and technological challenge. It is also of great industrial relevance, especially in the automotive sector to produce lightweight body parts at a competitive cost and high volume.

One of the main objectives of the new Research Chair will be to demonstrate the industrial feasibility, of a new flexible-injection moulding process known as Polyflex, which was developed by Dr. Trochu and Edu Ruiz, a new faculty member at École Polytechnique. It is anticipated that Polyflex will provide a radically innovative and cost-effective way of overcoming many of the deficiencies currently associated with composite manufacturing.

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