Lightweighting Efforts in the Automotive Industry
As many of you attended the Detroit Auto Show last week, I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight one of the major trends driving innovation in the automotive industry at the moment: lightweighting.
Lightweighting efforts in the automotive industry are driven by the fuel economy standards set by the Federal Government and the US Department of Transportation, known in the industry as CAFE 2025. Although the future enforcement of the legislation is uncertain under the current administration, many manufacturers continue to look for alternative, lightweight materials to replace the traditionally heavy parts in the vehicle to meet fuel efficiency targets, because ultimately, better fuel economy means cost savings for the consumer.
Many automotive suppliers have already responded to this trend. Just recently Adient announced its new lightweight, modular platform RPSP. Composites and lightweight metals are already increasingly implemented as alternative materials in automotive applications, and foams could be the next big thing. With their ability to reduce the density and mass of any material, and innovations in forming technologies such as 3D printing, they offer enormous potential to the automotive industry.
In response to this trend we are hosting a session on Thursday March 8 dedicated especially to the lightweighting efforts in the automotive industry and the potential for foams in this space. We have gathered the leading lights from the industry to share their insights with you in this interactive panel discussion. In addition, I spoke with Bruce Spivey, Principal Engineer at Lear, about the company’s lightweighting efforts; you can read the interview in this month’s newsletter.
Sign up to see this session at the conference for free online!
Thursday March 8, 10am, Track 1: Examining the Potential for Foams in Lightweighting Efforts in the Automotive Industry
Fleur Jonker: Senior Conference Producer