In-depth presentations and discussions over two full days focused on overcoming today’s lightweighting challlenges:
The look and the character of the vehicle. Body structure and closures. Dominated by traditional steels, today’s advances in high strength steels (HSS), aluminum, and composites are pushing the limits. New processes create design opportunity, including castings, extrusions, hot stamping, deep draw forming and molding. We will explore how materials, processes and new technologies can meet future demands.
Deemed to be the “third” human space following the home and office, electric vehicles, autonomous driving and the push for lighter-weight vehicles are placing new demands on interiors. How is the industry responding to these changes? What new materials or processes are meeting these demands? What new innovation is required for the future?
Today, we are experiencing changes in powertrain design not seen in 100 years. These changes are affecting architecture and performance, resulting in new demands from materials, manufacturing processes and technology. Lightweight propulsion begins with engine downsizing, new material integration, and extends to large market projections on electrification—hybrids to EV’s; electric motors and battery systems.
Chassis & Suspension
The chassis and suspension are backbone of the vehicle, and represents approximately 20% of the vehicle weight. There is ample opportunity to reduce vehicle weight, especially once the propulsion system is down-sized and optimized. Components of interest include the frame, subframe, engine cradle, suspension, wheels, brakes and steering knuckles.
The vehicle structure is changing from one that was all steel, to a mixture of advanced steels, aluminum, composites, polymers and even glass. This multi-material vehicle requires new methods of body and closure assembly, and there are many options at varying degrees of maturity. The options include welding, self-piercing rivets, fasteners, tapes and structural adhesives.
Enabling technologies are everything dedicated to supporting and helping to overcome the adoption of new materials, processes and technologies in the automotive field. Advances in design, crash testing & safety, simulation, recycling, testing, new processes, along with many other areas helping to enable new technology and innovation will be explored.
Electrification & Autonomy
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) eliminate the traditional powertrain, yet have a stark difference—range limitations. Vehicle lightweighting directly correlates to more range, or fewer batteries, which are a major cost-driver. At the highest levels of autonomy come the need for considerable energy and computing power, at the expense of weight.
Lightweighting is moving to a new stage, and while much has been accomplished, the task is getting more difficult. OEMs and suppliers seek to continue the momentum, going deeper into vehicles, components and processes to find the next level of weight savings. All the while, the industry must balance safety and consumer demands. Only Lightweighting World Expo 2018 delivers high-level problem solving and networking for today’s lightweighting applications.
Registration opens March 15, 2018 online at lightweightingworld.com.