1979-02-01

Old Materials + New Design Techniques = Lighter Steering Systems 790403

New or exotic materials are now available to the design engineer for execution of his designs. However, when the cost objectives for the component or system preclude the use of these materials, the engineer must resort to the standard, low-cost lightweight materials, such as SAE 308 aluminum. Careful design and the use of new or special design techniques will still allow sizeable weight reduction. Two examples illustrating different methods of designing or testing around the properties of old and familiar materials are taken from the design of the steering system of the 1978 Fairmont and 1979 Ford Mustang, where a 46% reduction in system weight was achieved without the use of expensive high strength materials.

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