High Strength Materials and Vehicle Weight Reduction Analysis 750221
Advancements in high-strength-to-weight-ratio material development have provided the automotive industry with numerous possibilities for vehicle weight reduction. The application rate of these new materials will depend upon their economic feasibility as well as their material properties. For these materials to be cost effective, the weight interaction of lighter high strength components must be considered within the environment of the total vehicle. This paper presents an analytical technique for quantifying vehicle component weight interactions and specifying the resulting iterative weight reductions that can be achieved through high strength material substitution. The technique has been applied to a typical production full-size vehicle to obtain the hypothetical, component group-weight targets that could be achieved through substitution of high strength-to-weight-ratio materials. Finite element computer models were created, representing the typical production vehicle and the resulting lightweight, high strength vehicle. These theoretical models were then computer tested, statically and dynamically, to ascertain the differences between the typical production vehicle and the lightweight, high strength vehicle. The results of this theoretical structural testing are given.