Karmann, the German coachbuilder and auto supplier most famous for its Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, has developed an aluminum foam “sandwich” for use in car structures. The material is half the weight of steel, yet 10 times stronger. It can be stamped into any shape necessary for the structure of a vehicle.

The material itself consists of thin layers of aluminum sheeting with foamed aluminum in the center. A cross-section looks like an ice cream sandwich. Gas bubbles are injected into the center section to give the foam strength and rigidity with little additional weight.