What will the car of the next future be like? According to a recent survey of automakers conducted by Ducker Worldwide and presented by the Aluminum Association it will be a multi-material vehicle (MMV) with aluminum doors, aluminum hoods and trunk lids, aluminum body-in-white, bumpers and crash boxes. Total aluminum content is in fact expected to grow from 397 pounds per vehicle (PPV) in 2015 to 565 PPV by 2028 (from 180 kg to 256 kg), representing 16 percent of total vehicle; an unprecedented growth for automotive aluminum.
The reason? Automakers are constantly in seek for lightweight materials that improve fuel economy as tighter regulations are standing out, to meet performance requirements and keep the costs low. To reduce the weight of vehicles seems to be one of the decisive challenges facing the automotive industry at the start of the 21st century.
The German steel industry is reacting with the initiative “Lightweight forging/Massiver Leichtbau” under the auspices of the VDEh Steel Institute (Stahlinstitut VDEh) and the German Forging Association to demonstrate how steel forging technology can contribute to automotive lightweight design. The project now entering in Phase III involves around 40 companies from Europe, Asia and the US devoting their efforts to determining the lightweight design potential of hybrid and heavy commercial vehicles in terms of powertrain, chassis and transmission. By successfully optimizing components of a medium-sized passenger car during project phase I, the lightweight design ideas led to an average weight reduction of 10%, with a weight saving of 42 kg (92,5 pounds). In the case of the light commercial vehicles under analysis during phase II, the potential weight saving amounted to 99 kg (218 pounds). More information available here >
As reported by the World Steel Association, some car brands including Chevrolet, Kia and Volkswagen are already using advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) for some of their models as part of their ongoing drive to build lighter vehicles.
Aluminum, steel, alloys: the game is open...
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