Dow Automotive Systems partnered with the Deep Orange 4 team at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research to support future automotive designers/engineers and highlight the broad Dow Automotive Systems portfolio of lightweighting products. The resulting concept vehicle was unveiled recently at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City.

The Dow Automotive Systems team provided betamate polyurethane structural adhesives and Betafoam polyurethane structural foams to help enable design flexibility, add structural support and bond lightweight materials, in alignment with the student-run project goals. Dow Automotive Systems engineers also collaborated with the Deep Orange 4 team, providing application ideas and expertise in the area of lightweighting, mass reduction and structural support.

The Deep Orange 4 project is based on the BMW X3 and is defined as a versatile vehicle that targets the niche market of performance-oriented SUV customers who want both best-in-class utility/space and an aggressive sporty design. In addition, a cost-efficient manufacturing plan was developed to demonstrate how this low-volume derivative could be assembled without negatively impacting existing BMW production processes.

“We have been very pleased with the opportunities presented by this project,” said Frank Billotto, commercial transportation industry manager at Dow Automotive Systems. “It’s been inspiring to work with bright minds, a forward-looking program and all of the challenges that come with creating concept vehicles. This program gives students hands-on experience with real-world vehicles and industry experts, which is very beneficial to the industry as a whole. We look forward to our next venture with the Deep Orange program.”

“The team from Dow Automotive brought us materials and know-how that proved to be very valuable,” said Suzanne Dickerson, director of international business development at CU-ICAR. “The structural adhesives and structural foam materials that they supplied gave the team a real-world understanding of lightweighting issues and solutions.”