Nominations for Enlighten Award

Altair has announced the 17 nominations for the 2015 Enlighten Award, which aims to recognize achievements in weight reduction within the automotive industry.

A number of the nominees have used a combination of fiber and polymer to make lightweight components and frames.

The award will be presented in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the 2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars taking place in Traverse City, Michigan, from August 3rd-6th.

 ‘The light duty fleet must undergo substantial technological changes to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,’ said Dr Jay Baron, president and CEO of CAR. ‘Lightweighting is universally recognized by automakers as one of the strategic technologies. The Enlighten nominations demonstrate innovative applications in this competitive battleground engaging suppliers and manufacturers that further advance lightweight solutions.’

The 2015 Enlighten Award nominees are:

Automotive Performance Materials (APM) and Faurecia, who brought sustainable design to instrument panels, center consoles and door panels of the Peugeot 308 by integrating a natural, hemp-based fiber with polypropylene, which allows for complex shapes and architectures along with a weight savings of 20-25%.

BAIC Group (Off-road Vehicle Technology Center), which achieved a weight savings of 88.2 pounds in its new vehicle model BJ40 using CFRP, magnesium, aluminum and innovative optimized structuring of the hood, lower control arm, car-roof, chair skeleton and frame.

BASF, Ford, Magna Exteriors, which increased the overall body stiffness to the front of the Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang with carbon fiber composite grille opening reinforcements (GOR), achieving a 24% reduction in weight.

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) and General Motors (Corvette), which created TCA Ultra Lite, an advanced composite material that, depending on the application, is as light as aluminium. This new composite structure forms most of the upper body of the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette C7 and is also used to net-fit the composite class-A body panels. The system achieved a weight savings of 44 pounds per vehicle.

Dana Holding Corporation, which reduced cylinder head cover weight by 29% in the 2015 Ford F-250 through F-550, while still maintaining durability and stability by using MuCell, a molding technology licensed from Trexel Industries.

Dow Automotive Systems which created BETAFORCE, a structural adhesive designed for the demanding design challenges of the 2014 BMW i3. The two-component polyurethane adhesive enables lightweight vehicle construction for significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, fuel consumption and pollution by durably joining thermos. Weight savings for new to previous models are very significant and can range from 176 to almost 440 pounds per vehicle.

Faurecia: Emissions Control Technologies, which implemented an Analysis Led Design and Virtual Validation Process (ALDVV) in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which reduced the exhaust system weight 2.5 pounds by decreasing the pipe thickness for the muffler inlet pipe, over axle pipe and tail pipe.

Ford Motor Company which saved up to 700 pounds on the 2015 F-150 through increased use of high-strength steel throughout the frame; the introduction of a first-in-class high-strength, military-grade, aluminium-alloy body; and other lightweight components.

FTE Automotive USA, Inc, which  designed a 35% lighter gear shift actuator module for double clutch transmissions to shift in between gears by converting hydraulic pressure into mechanical stroke for the 2015 Audi A4, Q5, A6 and C8.

General Motors: Cadillac, which used computer-aided engineering (CAE) development methods to achieve 163.1 pound weight reduction on the Alpha architecture while still providing mass efficiency, stiffness, safety, and structural feel and while delivering improved fuel economy without degrading on-road performance characteristics.

Maxion Wheels, which applied a new design process leveraging simulation and optimization processes, achieving a 10 pound weight reduction, which was approved on the toughest durability test in the world called Biaxial, which helps to raise standard of approval and quality of product.

Trinseo, which developed a full thermoplastic lift-gate solution using a selection of optimal combination of LGF-PP and TPO compounds, which has been commercialized and implemented on the serial production of the 2015 Renault Espace, bringing a 10% weight savings over the previous metallic version.

Sika Automotive, which developed a high-viscous semi-structural one-component adhesive with high elongation and ultra-high modulus, used for bonding mixed materials such as aluminium and carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the chassis of the BMW i3, having no baseline for comparison.

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd, which used material removal techniques to reduce the weight of the front axle of a low and medium duty truck by 20 pounds, creating a fully manufacturable design solution as a direct result of the optimized design process. It also used design optimization techniques, integrated brim type panels and rearranging the base frame cross member pitches and side structure pitches to achieve a weight saving of 396.8 pounds per vehicle. The company also achieved a 25% weight reduction for a wind deflector by utilizing a design optimization process when compared to the baseline design. Finally, olvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd established a 30% weight reduction without increasing costs, while also improving the performance, reliability, durability, and safety of the product by establishing a new process of design, CAE, prototyping, validation and line improvements.

This story is reprinted from material from Altair, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.