Livonia, Michigan - Automotive manufacturers are increasingly driven to design lightweight cars to meet rising fuel efficiency requirements - 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 in the US - while satisfying consumer appetite for high-quality vehicles, says Bayer MaterialScience llc.
Car makers are finding that they can lose vehicle weight and gain styling by exploiting engineering thermoplastics and composite materials, BMS adds.
Adopting lightweight polymers and polyurethane composites to replace traditional materials such as glass and metal in exterior applications, including window glazing and body panel components, can help reduce vehicle mass while retaining strength.
Bruce Benda, vice president, Automotive Marketing, Bayer MaterialScience llc, will highlight automotive challenges and solutions during his presentation "Lightweighting Trends and the Need for Innovative Solutions," at this year's Plastics in Lightweight and Electric Vehicles North American Conference, taking place 7-9 Nov 2011 in Livonia, Michigan.
"Automakers' 'Drive to 54.5' is underway," Benda said, in an 8 Nov company statement. "Their challenge to lose vehicle weight and keep it off is creating an ever-greater interest in exploring new materials and processes that deliver low cost, light weight and luxurious design. The benefits of engineering thermoplastics and polyurethane composites can help make it achievable."
Benda highlighted use of strong, lightweight polyurethane composites in load floors and roof modules, which can trim 20 - 30 lb (9-13.6 kg) of weight from a finished vehicle. He also noted that use of BMS's polycarbonate can cut a vehicle's glazing mass by up to 50 percent, again helping to cut fuel consumption