Prof. Dr. Raghu Echempati: Automotive lightweighting: Design and joining technologies and methodologies


Automotive weight reduction (lightweighting) has been an important factor for every automaker in order to meet the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations. Mass reduction and increased strength are challenging to balance in real life due to other competing functional performance expectations such as crash performance, aesthetics, corrosion resistance, cost, reliability and joining. The use of multi-material technologies, that is aluminum, magnesium, plastics and composites together with steel, is drawing the attention of many automakers.

In this interactive tutorial, some of the above mentioned issues and CAFE regulations will be addressed and how they can be supported by lightweighting technologies and methodologies. Details of using different grades and forms of steel and aluminum alloys for the body in white (BIW) components and the role of composite materials will be discussed. Case studies developed by SAGA, CAR, and other industry experts will be discussed. Joining methodologies of multi-materials will also be discussed.

This talk has been developed for engineering professors, students, engineers and technical personnel involved in all fields related to the automotive vehicle design or development.