Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-05-0049
2000-06-12

Advanced material technologies meeting the challenges of automotive engineering 2000-05-0049

Advanced material technologies play a key role in automotive engineering. The main objective of the development of advanced material technologies for automotive applications is to promote the desired properties of a vehicle. It is characteristic of most materials in modern cars that they have been developed especially for automotive requirements.
Requirements are not only set by the customer who expects the maximum in performance, comfort, reliability, and safety from a modern car. Existing legal regulations also have to be met, e.g., in the areas of environmental compatibility, resource preservation, and minimization of emissions. To achieve goals like weight reduction or increased engine performance permanent material developments are essential.
In this paper, numerous examples chosen from body, suspension, and powertrain components show clearly how low weight technologies, better comfort, and high level of recyclability can be achieved by advanced material solutions. General trends in material development for automotive applications are pointed out. Examples shown are high strength steels for body-in-white, aluminum for suspension, and modern plastics for interior trim and engine components.
In addition, an outlook is given on potential future material technologies. Performance and economy of future cars, as well as customer acceptance, will become increasingly dependent on the use of advanced material technologies. As a result, technological advances in improving material properties especially for automotive applications are not only intended to fulfill the automotive demands of today and the future, but are necessary to secure automotive competitiveness in the years to come.

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