High Integrity Die Cast Aluminum Body Components 2007-01-0460
With the ongoing demand for vehicle weight reduction, the need for lighter weight and high integrity automotive components continues to increase. Aluminum offers a low weight alternative to steel and cast iron. However, the conversion to aluminum has been focused mainly on engine components, wheels, steering systems, and suspension. Structural body components, which are often manufactured from steel assemblies, account for a large portion of the overall vehicle weight. Converting steel body components to aluminum can significantly reduce vehicle weight, thus improving performance and fuel economy.
Variants of the conventional high pressure die casting processes (HPDC) are being used to manufacture thin-walled (2-4mm) aluminum castings for structural applications. This paper provides a description of the High-Q-CastR process, which is geared toward thin-walled components that can be joined through welding, bonding, or self-piercing rivets and that require crash worthiness and corrosion resistance. In addition, typical mechanical properties, assembly methods, and current applications are cited.