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Overcoming the all-steel- body Structure: Materials for Light Weight Construction. Clovis Zapata Research Associate BRASS Cardiff University.

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Presentation on theme: "Overcoming the all-steel- body Structure: Materials for Light Weight Construction. Clovis Zapata Research Associate BRASS Cardiff University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overcoming the all-steel- body Structure: Materials for Light Weight Construction. Clovis Zapata Research Associate BRASS Cardiff University

2 Presentation Structure 1 - Lightweight necessity in automotive design and construction. 2 – Value X Weight 3 - The all-steel-body Structure 4 – Lean weight importance 5 – Cost Modelling exercise with alternative materials to the all-steel-body structure

3 1. Lightweight necessity The environmental impact of the automobile is well known (life cycle). Several environmental regulations have been imposed to try to correct market failures. (e.g. Emissions regulations, End- of-Life Vehicle Directive and etc.)

4 1. Lightweight necessity Fuel economy has gained a dramatic importance A reduction of 100 kilograms in the body weight reduces fuel consumption by approximately 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres. Each litre of gasoline saved reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 24 grams per kilometre.

5 “I cannot imagine where the delusion that weight means strength came from… In transportation why put extra weight in a machine? Fat men cannot run as fast as thin men but we build most of our vehicles as though dead-weight fat increased speed! … Some day we shall discover how further to eliminate weight. Take wood, for example. For certain purposes wood is now the best substance we know, but wood is extremely wasteful. The wood in a Ford car contains thirty pounds of water. There must be some way of doing better than that “ Henry Ford, My Life and Work.

6 1.Lightweight necessity Vehicles are becoming larger and heavier. Luxury, safety and electrical equipments have been added to the standard vehicles. Luxury, safety and electrical equipments have been added to the standard vehicles. The addition of the Sport-Utility Vehicles – SUVs, 4x4’s. Fuel economy is different from fuel efficiency.

7 1. Lightweight necessity Cars are getting heavier and bigger every new generation. Cars are getting heavier and bigger every new generation. Every year the average weight of vehicles increases by 35 lbs (16kilos). Every year the average weight of vehicles increases by 35 lbs (16kilos).

8 1. Lightweight necessity 1. Lightweight necessity 1976 Golf GTI MKI (820kgs) 108 hp Golf GTI MKV (1340kg) 200hp Polo (1194Kg) Fox (1100kg) 2006 Medium sized vehicles are almost twice as heavy as 20 years ago. Volkswagen Golf

9 Vicious cycle of weight More powerful engine Heavier Structure Package Adaptation (Larger fuel tank Larger breaks, etc) Higher Car body rigidity Customer increasing Demands: 1 – Safety 2 – Performance 3 - Luxury result :each new generation is heavier

10 2. Value X Weight From the manufacturers point of view, adding weight is a way to add value - to make cars bigger and more comfortable and more powerful and raise the profit margins. “Small-vehicles – small profits”. We argue that to add value the increase in weight must not occur.

11 2. Value X Weight PPW Price Per Weight Car Price Positive relationship PPP= /100CP Outliers not present Relationship between value and price for new vehicles sold in the UK Car price per kg increases with vehicle weight.

12 2. Value X Weight For the manufacturers, reducing the content of cheap (heavy ) materials releases the opportunity for greater value- added PPW applications which the consumer pays for. (e.g. Satellite Navigation, etc).

13 2. Value X Weight From the consumer point of view, there is an established cultural belief that weight tends to be associated with safety and quality. Are SUV’s really safer to the driver ? What about to other drivers and pedestrians ?

14 3. All-steel body structure High sunk costs in plants and models which lead to high risk operations; Over-supply; Long delivery time; Inflexibility of manufacturing; High Break even points (250,000).

15 4. Lean Weight importance enhanced fuel consumption; improvements in vehicle performance ; improvements in vehicle performance ; and a smaller vehicle also needs smaller mechanical parts including engine, brakes, gear box, and other mechanical and structural parts. Weight saving in the structure of the vehicle can be substituted by other luxury or safety accessories.

16 “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing more to take away” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 4. Lean Weight importance

17 Reduced Vehicle Weight Lightweight Materials Structural lightweight Construction Optimizing of Production Process Unreinforced and reinforced Plastics Aluminium, Magnesium High Strength Steels New structures and complex geometries Light joining techniques New manufacturing processes (Hydroforming) 4. Lean Weight importance

18 5. Cost Modelling exercise To cost a compact vehicle using different materials. Comparison was made in the Body-in – White Structure to contrast traditional all- steel body structure to alternative materials. Micro-Factory retailing model was used.

19 Model assumptions Sunk Costs Traditional Alternative (MFR) Plant1,50050 Model R&D Model Tooling (in £ Millions)

20 Comparison of Parts Weight Steel Al Carbon F Glass Comp Kg

21 Unit Cost £’s (x1000) Total Volume (x1000) Preliminary Results Cost Comparison: Steel X Alternative Materials Steel Comp Carbon Carb – AeroStable Carbon Car. Aluminium is not included

22 Future Research Further develop the model (Case studies); Analysis of sustainable strategic opportunities in the context of the Micro- Factory Retailing; Evaluation of the economic feasibility of a new market entrant using the micro-factory retailing model.

23 Conclusion The issue of weight is likely to become more important to manufacturers and customers due to fuel economy. The economic feasibility of producing vehicles with alternative materials has not yet been completely addressed (following Micro-Factory Retailing parameters). Consumers may not abandon large vehicles. The shift away form heavy cars can only came from alternative materials. Weight reduction involves all materials and components suppliers.


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