technology. Consequently, the CRADA to develop continuous casting of aluminum sheet for automotive applications is critical to eliminating the cost penalty and, therefore, critical to meeting the overall objectives of Goal 3. Finding ways to improve the physical properties and reduce the cost of cast aluminum and magnesium is also important to meeting Goal 3 objectives. PNGV/USCAR should monitor these projects closely and ensure that they have adequate resources to meet these critical objectives.

Recommendations

Recommendation. The development of the continuous casting process of aluminum sheet should be given the highest priority in terms of resources and technical support. This includes support of the work already under way to characterize the material in terms of its microstructure, strength, ductility, formability, and weldability in parallel with the development of mill processing techniques.

Recommendation. The development program for low-cost graphite fiber should be continued for longer-term applications beyond Goal 3. A new program for manufacturing graphite-fiber-reinforced plastic composite materials in thin sections should be initiated to take advantage of the unique properties of this material.



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