Researchers at WMG, part of the University of Warwick, together with Force Technology, the Institute of Spring Technology (IST) and the Northern Automotive Alliance (NAA), have won research funding worth £244,090 from Innovate UK for a project that will develop polymer springs for vehicles in order to reduce vehicle weight, so improving fuel efficiency and lowering emissions.

The project, led by the IST, involves researchers at WMG developing a method to create accurate flat blank polymer templates with bespoke reinforced plastic cross-section that automotive manufacturers can then use to manufacture polymer springs for the automotive/transport sector.

The project is being managed by the NAA, and Force Technology, a world-class specialist supplier of precision springs, will design and manufacture the springs.

The researchers will devise material specifications for the reinforced polymer spring material, based on load cases, usage criteria and desired thermo-mechanical properties, high and low temperature performance, creep and fatigue life.

The Institute of Spring Technology comments, “The level of knowledge, skill, energy and enthusiasm within the consortium will ensure a successful outcome to the initial feasibility study with an aim of keeping British spring making at the spearhead of technology and manufacturing.”