Reinforced Light Metals for Automotive Applications 2007-01-1228
Efficiency and dynamic behavior of a vehicle are strongly affected by its weight. Taking into consideration comfort, safety and emissions in modern automobiles, lightweight design is more of a challenge than ever in automotive engineering. Materials development plays an important role against this background, since significant weight decrease is made possible through the substitution of high density materials and more precise adjustment of material parameters to the functional requirements of components. Reinforced light metals, therefore, offer a promising approach due to their high strength to weight ratio. The paper gives an overview on matrix and reinforcement structures suited for the high volume output of the automotive industry. Further analytical and numerical approaches to describe the strengthening effects and the good mechanical characteristics of these composite materials are presented. The potential of reinforced light metals is shown by means of compression samples cast in laboratory scale.