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Materials & Lightweighting: Strategies, Applications and Opportunities

  • ID: 3496695
  • Report
  • 336 pages
  • Autelligence
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How to Utilise Modern, Lightweight Materials at Mass-Market Volume?


  • Aapico Hitech Public Co.
  • Basf
  • Gestamp
  • Kaiser Aluminium
  • Montupet SA
  • Tata Steel
  • MORE
Comprehensive coverage of the lightweighting sector – technical analysis, OEM strategies, supplier opportunities

Could there be a more critical question as the industry-wide effort to achieve strict new fuel-efficiency standards shifts to hyper-speed?

“Materials & lightweighting: strategies, applications, opportunities” explores technical and production features of a wide variety of new materials that carmakers are turning to in the effort to meet lightweighting goals.

The complexity is enormous, but the risk/reward ratio is high and suppliers that have mastered the details of efficient manufacturing enjoy a measurable advantage.

This comprehensive report examines the technical and strategic challenges of achieving stringent fuel economy standards through weight reduction. It is a deep-dive that covers everything from cost management to the processing of high-tech steels, aluminum alloys magnesium and titanium.

Included are analytical comparisons of the use of materials from quality, manufacturing and cost perspectives.

“If you look at the various technologies that the industry is pursuing to meet the future standards … lightweighting is clearly leading.” – Jeff Sternberg, technology director of DuPont Automotive

The key issue? A growing number of global OEMs are following a manufacturing strategy that calls for multiple brands and models based on a small number of platforms. Thus, feature content has become a way to distinguish brands and avoid the consumer drift to lower margin brands and models.

This results in a significant challenge as increases in weight and size are no longer possible and weight offsets become essential. Weight and size increases are no longer a tolerable sacrifice.

However, it also presents a tremendous opportunity for companies that master new materials understanding and manufacturing.

The cost of improving gasoline engine efficiency by 25% is estimated by the International Energy Agency to be about USD 1,000 per car, while diesel costs are even higher. Weight reduction holds the potential of significant fuel economy improvements at a cost that is now becoming operable.

This comprehensive report answers technical questions, outlines the strategies for each OEM, and suggests opportunities for suppliers. Finally, it also contains 36 detailed company profiles.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • Aapico Hitech Public Co.
  • Basf
  • Gestamp
  • Kaiser Aluminium
  • Montupet SA
  • Tata Steel
  • MORE
1. Introduction
Government policy initiatives
Weight based versus footprint based initiatives
Weight based 95 g/km target
Footprint based 95 g/km

2. Barriers to weight reduction
Product differentiation
Vehicle weight and safety
Improved vehicle dynamics and safety
Process development
Cost development

3. Sustainability considerations
Mass reduction and vehicle lifecycle CO2 emissions
Case study Audi TT MY 2014 – 2015
End-of-life vehicles consideration

4. Historic perspective

5. Weight reduction by sector
Platform and module considerations
Body structure
Interior developments

6. Materials technology
Steel industry global outlook
Advanced steel developments
Advanced alloy steels
Complex Phase steels (CP)
Dual Phase Steels (DP)
Ferritic-Bainitic Steel (FB)
Hot formed steel (HF)
Martensitic steel (MS)
Post forming heat treatable steel (PFHT)
Transformation-Induced Plasticity Steel (TRIP)
Twinning Induced Plasticity Steel (TWIP)
Boron UHSS
Special process steels
Evolving AHSS types
Three-phase steel with nano-precipitation
Quenching and partitioning
Competition from other materials

7. Steel forming technology
Tailored blanks
Hot stamping
Zinc-Magnesium coated hot dip galvanised steel
Stainless steels for car frames

8. Aluminium alloys
Aluminium alloy systems
Wrought Alloy Series
Casting Alloys
Growth opportunities for aluminium
Powertrain applications
Chassis applications

9. Magnesium
Magnesium versus aluminium
Price volatility
Demand for magnesium
Magnesium advantages
Magnesium extraction
Alloy and process development
Magnesium sheet production and stamping

10. Titanium
Titanium aluminides
Titanium engine applications
Exhaust Systems
Titanium chassis applications
Brake Systems
Springs, bolts and fasteners
Lowering the cost of titanium

11. Composite and Plastic Materials
Carbon Fibre
Types by raw materials:
Carbon fibre cost reduction
Process development
Thermocomposite materials
Thermoset versus thermoplastic
Sheet moulding compound (SMC)

12. Nano-scale materials
Honeycomb structures

13. Hybrid materials technology

14. Bio-Materials
Challenges in bio-material application
Current and future applications
Woven and knitted fabrics
Joining technology
Laser welding
Magnetic pulse welding
Plasma arc welding
Deformation resistance welding
Ultrasonic aluminium welding
Friction stir welding
Laser-Assisted Friction Stir Welding
Adhesive bonding
Hybrid bonding
Self-piercing rivets

15. Company Profiles
Aapico Hitech Public Co.
Aichi Steel
Amag Austria Metall
Arcelor Mittal
CIE Automotive
Georg Fischer
Gibbs Die Casting
Iochpe Maxion
Kaiser Aluminium
Linamar Corporation
Luxfer Group
Martinea International
Montupet SA
Plastic Omnium
Shiloh Industries
Superior Industries
Tata Steel
Tower International
Yorozu Corporation


Figure 1: Characteristics of passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles (vans) in the EU: market share, vehicle mass, and vehicle size (footprint)
Figure 2: 2012 performance of key EU passenger car manufacturers, including 2015 and 2020 (effectively 2021) target
Figure 3: Average 2012 fuel consumption (in l/100 km, bold) and CO2 emission level (in g/km, in parentheses) of key EU passenger car manufacturers, including 2020 (effectively 2021) targets
Figure 4: VW Golf evolution of kerb weight (kg) 1990 – 2015
Figure 5: Options for a mass-based target system for reaching 95 g/km
Figure 6: Effects of varying the emission target line slope (weight-based system)
Figure 7: Options for a footprint-based target system for reaching 95 g/km
Figure 8: Effects of varying the emission target line slope (footprint-based system)
Figure 9: Issues that are barriers to weight reduction (LHS)
Figure 10: Average kerb weight by segment MY 1990 – 2015
Figure 11: A hybrid aluminium and advanced steel structure, Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2015)
Figure 12: Relative CO2 reduction benefits vs relative cost
Figure 13: The use phase dominates lifecycle vehicle emissions
Figure 14: Analysing lifetime greenhouse gas effects
Figure 15: Materials in body structure 2014 MY Audi TT
Figure 16: Greenhouse gas emissions for various materials
Figure 17: Materials evolution Audi TT MY2014 – 2015
Figure 18: Greenhouse gas emission values for the entire lifecycle of the Audi TT Coupè
Figure 19: Components in the Volkswagen Golf Mark
Figure 20: Global automotive microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors shipments 2010 – 201
Figure 21: Mini segment average kerb weights 1990 – 2015 (Europe)
Figure 22: Lower mid segment average kerb weights 1990 – 2015 (Europe)
Figure 23: Upper mid segment average kerb weights 1990 – 2015 (Europe)
Figure 24: Luxury segment average kerb weights 1990 – 2015 (Europe)
Figure 25: Average profit per vehicle versus CO2 compliance costs
Figure 26: Progress in weight reduction through materials technology
Figure 27: Trends in aluminium use
Figure 28: Weight share of modules and their weight increase.
Figure 29: The multi-material vehicle concept applied to the Audi A8 body-in-white
Figure 30: PSA’s adjustable platform architecture
Figure 31: Assembly kits in the Volkswagen Group
Figure 32: Platform/module evolution 2015 – 2020
Figure 33: Changes in steel usage in BIW application
Figure 34: Front bumper material and design for the Alpha Romeo Giulietta delivers 31 kg weight saving
Figure 35: Estimated BIW materials composition 2006 and 2015 forecast
Figure 36: Aluminium/ magnesium lightweight design 6 cylinder engine
Figure 37: Engine weight and performance for aluminium and cast iron blocks
Figure 38: Aluminium cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold
Figure 39: Areas for chassis weight reduction
Figure 40: A lightweight strut with a fibreglass wheel carrier
Figure 41: Range Rover magnesium front end structure
Figure 42: Porsche 918 Spyder CFRP monocoque construction
Figure 43: Alpha Romeo 4C carbon fibre production
Figure 44: Mass reduction in seat design
Figure 45: Apparent steel usage by region in 2015
Figure 46: BIW materials by tensile strength BMW 6 Series
Figure 47: Overall demand for auto steel and other metals and materials
Figure 48: Advanced steel development expressed in terms of tensile strength
Figure 49: VW changes in steel alloy use 2003 – 2015
Figure 50: Microstructure of TRIP steel
Figure 51: Advanced steel development for the future
Figure 52: Use of boron steel in BMW’s 6 Series BIW
Figure 53: Nanosteels’s nano-scale microstructure
Figure 54: Nanosteel’s new class of AHSS materials
Figure 55: Steel processing portfolio
Figure 56: MagiZinc corrosion performance
Figure 57: Aluminium content per vehicle (lbs 1975 – 2025)
Figure 58: Aluminium content by component systems
Figure 59: Average Al content by OEM for sample vehicles 2012
Figure 60: Aluminium content increase (Kg) EU 2006 – 2012
Figure 61: Aluminium and plastic componentry BMW 7 Series body structure
Figure 62: Aluminium content in 2012
Figure 63: Aluminium content change by vehicle segment (US)
Figure 64: Iso-strength curves for 6000 Series alloys
Figure 65: Composition of 7000 Series alloys
Figure 66: Potential for aluminium extrusion use
Figure 67: Aluminium content 2006 model and 2012 model
Figure 68: Required aluminium additions to raise aluminium content by 40kg
Figure 69: Automotive material distribution 2015 – 2025
Figure 70: Federal Mogul’s Advanced Estoval II piston
Figure 71: Aluminium steering knuckle
Figure 72: BMW 5 Series with aluminium front and rear axle subframes
Figure 73: Air suspension system components
Figure 74: European aluminium direct weight savings and market penetration 2013
Figure 75: European aluminium content (kg) D and E segment closures and body
Figure 76: Cost of different aluminium structural body components
Figure 77: Aluminium product forms in the Jaguar XJ (X350)
Figure 78: Aluminium body of the Jaguar XJ (X351)
Figure 79: Shift of materials applied for the Jaguar XJ: X350 – X351
Figure 80: Aluminium recycling schematic
Figure 81: Magnesium content per vehicle
Figure 82: Single piece magnesium tailgate inner panel
Figure 83: Specific strength versus specific stiffness for various materials
Figure 84: Magnesium demand breakdown
Figure 85: Lifecycle analysis of cast engine block for a vehicle life of 200,000 km
Figure 86: Magnesium pricing history
Figure 87: Global magnesium production 1998 and 2011 by region
Figure 88: Die-cast magnesium motorcycle engine blocks
Figure 89: A BMW magnesium cross-car beam giving a 50% weight saving over its steel fabrication alternative
Figure 90: Cathodic poisoning to capture atomic hydrogen that otherwise is fundamental to the corrosion process
Figure 91: Die cast V6 engine block
Figure 92: AM-SC1 three cylinder engine block
Figure 93: Stamped magnesium tailgate
Figure 94: Thermally formed magnesium alloy sheet trunk lid inner
Figure 95: Potential magnesium applications
Figure 96: Potential magnesium extrusion use
Figure 97: Turbocharger turbine wheel made from gTiAl
Figure 98: Application of titanium-Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) alloys for engine components
Figure 99: Connecting rod made of Ti-SB62 split using laser cracking
Figure 100: Titanium MMC crankshaft using Ti-4A-4V+12% TiCl
Figure 101: VW Golf 4-Motion titanium exhaust
Figure 102: Comparison between titanium and steel spring showing 50% weight saving
Figure 103: laser sintered complex titanium components
Figure 104: Price elasticity of demand for various engineering materials
Figure 105: Carbon fibre parts being moulded in BMW’s Leipzig plant
Figure 106: Carbon fibre monocoque McLaren MP4-12C
Figure 107: Density strength relationships for various engineering materials – composites
Figure 108: Carbon fibre product types by mechanical properties
Figure 109: The cost gap between aluminium and carbon fibre will decrease over time using an aggressive cost reduction scenario
Figure 110: CFRP cost structure evolution
Figure 111: Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process chain
Figure 112: Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process schematic
Figure 113: McLaren’s MP4-12C featuring a carbon fibre monocoque safety cell
Figure 114: a schematic roadmap of CFRP future development
Figure 115: Schematic of the Resin Spray Transfer process
Figure 116: Advanced engineering plastics use in the Bayer demonstration vehicle
Figure 117: Density strength relationships for various engineering materials – polymers
Figure 118: Emerging automotive nanotechnology uses
Figure 119: Nanocomposite interior component
Figure 120: Bayer Carbon Nanotubes
Figure 121: Over injection moulding of metal structures
Figure 122: Optimised component design achieved by intrinsic materials hybridisation
Figure 123: A schematic illustrating a holistic interdisciplinary approach to multi-material design and manufacture
Figure 124: Optimal continuous fibre reinforcement design for thermoplastic component
Figure 125: Hybrid materials process schematic
Figure 126: Wheat Straw/ Polypropylene storage bin and cover liner used in the 2010 Ford Flex
Figure 127: Joining technologies used in automotive manufacturing
Figure 128: Laser welded door containing three different steels
Figure 129: Friction stir welding
Figure 130: Friction stir welding
Figure 131: Laser assisted friction stir welding
Figure 132: Blind rivets
Figure 133: Tread forming screws
Figure 134: Self-piercing rivets


Table 1: The relative cost of fuel economy measures – gasoline engines
Table 2: The relative cost of fuel economy measures – diesel engines
Table 3: 2012 performance of key EU passenger car manufacturers, including 2015 and 2020 (effectively 2021) targets
Table 4: Sales/registrations-weighted averages per manufacturer in 200
Table 5: Changes in assessed sustainability categories Audi TT Coupè MY2014 – 2015
Table 6: OEM statements and commitments to weight reduction
Table 7: Multi-materials potential body applications
Table 8: Fuel economy improvement and costs for powertrain
Table 9: Weight reduction in lightweight shock absorber assemblies
Table 10: Steel types used in automotive applications
Table 11: Market penetration of BIW applications 2013
Table 12: weight reduction versus the price increase by replacing steel by aluminum 2013
Table 13: European aluminium content by sample vehicle 2012
Table 14: Future aluminium content analysis
Table 15: properties of magnesium alloys compared with plastics, steel and aluminium
Table 16: Potential for weight saving replacing aluminium with magnesium in the powertrain
Table 17: Mechanical and physical properties of Magnesium
Table 18: Typical properties of TiAl based alloys compared with well known titanium alloys
Table 19: Material comparison with carbon fibre
Table 20: Carbon fibre cost trends
Table 21: Material comparison with carbon fibre
Table 22: A range of JVs between OEMs and carbon fibre producces
Table 23: DoE US targets and metrics for carbon fibre and composites
Table 24: Advantages and disadvantages of thermoset and thermoplastic composites
Table 25: Thermocomposite materials
Table 26: Emerging applications for carbon nanotube based materials technology
Table 27: Mechanical properties of selected fibres and polymers
Table 28: Bio-based content of selected automotive components
Table 29: Selected bio-based automotive components

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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- Aapico Hitech Public Co.
- Aichi Steel
- Alcoa
- Aleris
- Amag Austria Metall
- Arcelor Mittal
- Basf
- Benteler
- CIE Automotive
- Constellium
- Faurecia
- Georg Fischer
- Gestamp
- Gibbs Die Casting
- Gurit
- Iochpe Maxion
- Kaiser Aluminium
- Linamar Corporation
- Luxfer Group
- Magna
- Martinea International
- Meridian
- Montupet SA
- Novelis
- Plastic Omnium
- Shiloh Industries
- Stemcor
- Superior Industries
- Tata Steel
- Teijin
- Thyssenkrupp
- Tower International
- Voestalpine
- Yorozu Corporation
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown