1998-09-29

The Application of Bonded Aluminum Sandwich Construction Technology to Achieve a Lightweight, Low Cost Automotive Structure 982279

Bonded Aluminum Sandwich Construction Technology offers a new approach for automotive manufacturers to rapidly develop low volume niche products that achieve world class results for weight, cost, styling and surface finish with minimal tooling investment. Using sandwich panel construction in the development of their new ultra lightweight sleeper, Western Star Trucks was able to reduce the product weight by 50%, manufacturing costs by 25%, and tooling and development cost by 75%, while significantly reducing development time. In less than one year the company was able to deliver a new family of Star Light Sleepers that replaced a conventional stamped steel body-in-white structure with the same basic body shape but with improved styling detail and surface finish. Additional benefits encountered included increased ease of assembly and interior finishing, and improved reparability and noise and thermal attenuation.

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