For purposes of manufacturing and volume efficiency, the automotive industry is based on the use of heavy materials, such as steel or aluminum; as well as the assembly of many components which add up to eventually produce very heavy vehicles.
MDI’s strategy is different from that of the current major car manufacturers: It is based on an innovative production concept that permits the use of high-tech materials. MDI has chosen to build light vehicles, at least two times lighter with identical capacity, with so-called «composite» materials previously reserved for high-end vehicles produced in small numbers; such as Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren. This composite material is a blend of several components that are not heterogenous (fibreglass, resin plant, polyurethane foam, immiscible, with a high binding capacity); and whose combined properties will be optimized. The new material thus constituted, heterogeneous, has properties that the individual components do not have. This improves the quality of the material facing some use (lightness, stiffness, stress resistance to breakage and temperature ranges, resistance to tension and compression, shock absorption and vibration isolation sound, etc...) can be further optimized with the use of vegetable fibers such as flax fibre. These are additional advantages in the choice of these composite materials with integration of functions.
Once the 3D conception is designed by engineers, the frame is made into one piece. We use this material for it has many uses in and out of the vehicle. For example, in the frame of the AirPod, the pedal block will be inserted into the already pre-moulded housing for this purpose. Other forms in the moulding seats will serve as a conduit for electrical wiring. Another small recess cut into the structural form will accommodate the locking latch of the door.
This integration concept is applied to all components of
the vehicle. The result is a much lighter, single structure with fewer
materials used; resulting in amazing space saving, and a much more rigid and
strong structure than the traditional assembly of several different parts
and fasteners. The lighter
body increases the energy efficiency of the vehicle and reduces its energy
The MDI vehicles manufactured are exceptional achievements using disruptive technology based on compressed air and composite materials.