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.