• Aerospace technology repurposed to accelerate testing and development
  • Pioneering all-weather, all-terrain tests of new metals and composites
  • Two-year project to ensure new body materials deliver a longer lasting, high quality finish
  • Working with industry leaders in quality assurance and advanced manufacturing to develop future lightweight materials
  • Optimising use of lightweight materials to improve efficiency and reduce emissions

Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover is taking part in pioneering research trials to test the capability of advanced lightweight metals and composites.

As part of a two year project, the company will use technology developed for the aerospace industry to understand how materials respond to corrosive environments in global markets and over rigorous terrain.

Samples of new metals and composites planned for use in future vehicles will be built into aerospace grade sensors and tested in extreme physical conditions for over 400,000km (250,000 miles) across North America.

The sensors will continuously measure the performance of the materials and share data with JLR product development engineers in the UK. With this information, they can accurately forecast the material’s behaviour to ensure new, lightweight metals meet stringent standards, delivering a longer lasting, high quality finish.

Matt Walters, JLR’s lead engineer, metals and process materials, said: “This research project is a prime example of our commitment to developing lightweight, durable and robust materials for our future vehicles. Using advanced aerospace grade technology, such as these sensors, is testament to the quality and standards we are achieving.

“We are working alongside world class partners on this ground-breaking research project and will improve the correlation between real-world and accelerated testing as we continue to raise the bar for quality and durability.”

The research forms part of Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie (GDA), a consortium of aluminium manufacturers and car makers researching the longevity of materials and how they can be made lighter and more durable.

Working with industry leaders across quality assurance and manufacturing to develop future lightweight vehicles, increasing efficiency and reducing emissions further is a key part of JLR’s Destination Zero vision – a future with zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

The project builds on continued research into future materials, from the REALITY project, a pioneering recycling process which gives premium automotive grade aluminium a second life, to the development of printed structural electronics, which can reduce the weight of in car electronics by up to 60%.