One billion! That is the number of registered passenger vehicles on the road today, and the number is growing every year. As more vehicles are produced and we face a scarcity of resources, rising energy consumption and increasing CO2 emissions, consumers and govern­ment regulators alike are demanding greater fuel economy. Different measurement cycles are used to approximate the actual performance of the vehicle.

 

How much fuel a car needs to overcome wind resistance?

The energy in fuel is required to overcome various losses (wind resistance,
tire drag, etc.) encountered in propelling the vehicle, and in providing power
to vehicle systems such as ignition or air conditioning. Various measures can
be taken to reduce losses at each of the conversions between chemical energy in
fuel and kinetic energy of the vehicle. Driver behavior can affect fuel economy; maneuvers such as sudden acceleration and heavy braking waste energy. But what about the car itself? Beyond motor technology, the weight is what matters.

 

How much CO2 we can save by driving lighter cars?

Indeed, while a few grams of CO2 or a little material or energy saved by shaving several kilograms off one vehicle’s weight may seem modest, the results are significant over the millions of new cars manufactured every year. New ideas, technologies and production methods are needed to develop lighter and more efficient vehicles for the future. To achieve the goal of lightweighting, automakers have adopted different strategies, such as the use of non-traditional materials including high-strength steel, alu­minum, magnesium and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics.


 

Eliminating conventional building materials

Another strategy is to adopt lighter-gauge metal or even eliminate sheet metal. But this creates unique challenges in assembly processes and introduces unwanted
effects on durability, vehicle dynamics and crash performance. To further advance lightweighting, automotive OEMs have developed new vehicle architectures with radical manufacturing techniques using non-traditional materials. Even long-established assembly processes have been rethought. Body-in-white (BIW) assembly is done not only in the conventional body shop, but can increasingly take place in a non-traditional, cold body shop.

 

“The right material at the right place” when building vehicle bodies

Most modern BIW comprises full steel, full aluminum and, most recently, full CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer) bodies. However, in the future, more and more bodies will be designed with a mixture of dissimilar material, taking advantage of their unique properties at the right place in the BIW. Automakers call it “The right material at the right place.” The result is an irreversible trend toward building bodies using mixed materials.

 

Lightweighting but maintaining strength and security

Given these strategies developed by the automakers, advanced bonding and reinforcing technologies have emerged as the key enablers in making vehicle lightweighting possible, while still maintaining strength and keeping occupants safe. Sika has been working with automakers to develop a full range of joining technology solutions to efficiently support the migration to new vehicle lightweighting architectures.

 

Body shop adhesives should improve stiffness, crash durability and fatigue  performance

While sustainable vehicle design has become a major trend in car production, so has sustainable performance realization. Performance expectations, economic, legisla­tive and environmental targets are influencing automotive OEMs’ thinking and driving the need for durable body shop adhesives that improve stiffness, crash durability and fatigue performance, as well as contribute to weight-reduction strat­egies.
These include incorporating mixed-material joining.

 

Sika`s body shop adhesives have been used in 25 million cars and trucks

Sika provides a broad range of innovative solutions for crash-durable, semi-crash, structural, hem-flange, anti-flutter, mastic and sealing applications to match challenging design requirements. Our body shop adhesives have been used in 25 million cars and trucks, reducing weight without reduc­ing safety. Crash-durable bonding is now the most important joining process in the body shop because it directly influ­ences the car body structure sections during a crash.

 

For reading the full article, please grab the ambitions magazine (hier verlinken auf das pdf).

 

For more information on how bonding and rein­forcing technologies can enable vehicle light weighting visit SIKA AUTOMOTIVE weighting