Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Advanced Composites
LeftNav
Aerospace
LeftNav
Amorphous Metal Structures
LeftNav
Analysis and Simulation
LeftNav
Asbestos and Substitutes
LeftNav
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
LeftNav
Automation Equipment
LeftNav
Automotive
LeftNav
Biomaterials
LeftNav
Building Materials
LeftNav
Bulk Handling and Storage
LeftNav
CFCs and Substitutes
LeftNav
Company
LeftNav
Components
LeftNav
Consultancy
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
 
News

Alcan details advantages of aluminium For vehicle safety

Alcan Automotive : 08 March, 2004  (Company News)
New alloys and fabrication technologies are leading automakers to choose aluminium as the preferred material to ensure the safety of vehicles and their occupants, according to a technical presentation by Alcan Automotive engineers at the recently held SAE World Congress.
New alloys and fabrication technologies are leading automakers to choose aluminium as the preferred material to ensure the safety of vehicles and their occupants, according to a technical presentation by Alcan Automotive engineers at the recently held SAE World Congress.

Aluminium applications range from side-impact beams, bumper beams, and ‘crash boxes’ to structural modules and complete car bodies, according to the paper presented by Alcan's Peter Furrer, Vice President of Automotive Systems Engineering, and co-authored by Rod Jones, Vice President of Technology and Engineering, and Beat Ruckstuhl, Director of Engineering Center-Europe. Aluminium also is a material of choice to meet requirements for pedestrian protection and low repair costs.

Using aluminium fabrication methods for crash management solutions reduces both development time and costs compared with traditional steel usage, according to the report. New aluminium design concepts can be developed and tested within a few months, thanks to the low cost of extrusion tools and the short lead times for tool manufacturing. Aluminium designs are highly flexible and can be quickly and simply modified for specific requirements.

In recent years, new aluminium alloys have been developed that ensure good formability, weldability and crashworthiness. Today, crashworthy aluminium designs are not only used in niche volume production but also for high-volume models where cost-effectiveness is a priority. The specific characteristics of aluminium alloys offer possibilities for designing cost-effective light-weight structures with high stiffness and excellent crash-energy absorption.

Alcan is bringing the metal's advantages to global automakers based on its European base and expanded production activities in Michigan and Quebec. In bumper modules, aluminium's 30-50% lighter weight, compared with steel, results in significantly lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Reduced weight at both the front and rear of the vehicle also reduces axle load, particularly in the front, which improves driving comfort and performance and, in part, counterbalances the trend to larger engines.

The primary function of a bumper system is to protect the vehicle in a low-speed crash. Modern aluminium bumpers can absorb 100% of the crash energy in a low-speed impact up to 5 mph with no damage to the vehicle structure. The addition of a deformable ‘crash box’ can provide further energy absorption, helping to keep structural damage to a minimum at speeds of up to 10 mph.

The unique advantages of extrusion technology also enable automakers to develop new aluminium applications. Extruded aluminium pieces can be reliably joined by various methods and combined with other structural pieces, including those made of steel or other materials, to form complete structural modules.

Successful aluminium-intensive vehicles include the Audi A8, which boasts an aluminium space-frame that incorporates large structural die castings and bent extruded profiles. The Jaguar XJ has a distinctive aluminium sheet-intensive monocoque body structure, and the BMW 5-series and 6-series are crafted with an all-aluminium front end. All-aluminium body concepts can deliver up to 40% weight reduction while maintaining or even improving the safety of the passengers.

Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   © 2012 NewMaterials.com
Netgains Logo