Materials Impact of Automotive Thermal Management 931078

The temperature a material must withstand and any requirements for heat transfer through it, are important considerations in its selection for an application. Thus, it would be expected that the thermal management in a vehicle would have far reaching effect on the materials to be used for the different automotive systems. With the need to have more power intensive engines, smaller under-the-hood space, and the need for strict emissions control, the temperatures encountered by most components of thermal management system, including engine body and internals, lubricating and trnasmission oil cooling systems, engine coolant cooling system, the exhaust system, and other numerous components under the hood, are steadily on the increase. An added need is to use lighter materials to reduce the total weight for less fuel consumption and reduced emissions to meet the ever-increasing CAFE ratings.
The paper reviews the trends of material use in different components of the vehicle thermal management system to meet the strength, creep resistance, corrosion resistance, and heat retention or dissipation requirements, keeping in view the acutely competitive nature of the industry. The costlier materials like aluminum, magnesium, nickel alloys, titanium, advanced ceramics, plastics and composites which need to be used to meet these requirements, necessitate more innovative and precise design, more sophisticated and automated fabrication processes, and a better appreciation of material capabilities and limitations.


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