Analysis of Lightweighting Design Alternatives for Automotive Components
Gasoline-powered vehicles compose the vast majority of all light-duty vehicles in the United States. Improving fuel economy is currently a topic of great interest due to the rapid rise in gasoline costs as well as new fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emissions standards. The Chevrolet Silverado is currently one of the top selling trucks in the U.S. and has been previously modeled using the commercial finite element code LS-DYNA by the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC). This state-of the art model was employed to examine alternative weight saving configurations using material alternatives and replacement of traditional steel with composite panels. Detailed mass distribution analysis demonstrated the chassis assembly to be an ideal candidate for weight reduction and was redesigned using Aluminum 7075-T6 Alloy and Magnesium Alloy HM41A-F.