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Altair Enlighten Award Nominations in for 2015

  • Tuesday, 28th July 2015
  • Reading time: about 6 minutes

There are 17 nominations for Altair’s 2015 Enlighten Award with the winner to be announced at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in August.

In its third year, Altair explains that the award will be presented in collaboration with the centre for Automotive Research (CAR) at the 2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars taking place in Traverse City, Michigan, US from August 3rd-6th.

The award aims to recognise the achievements in weight reduction within the automotive industry, from motorcycles to passenger cars, light trucks to commercial vehicles and buses. Comprised of worldwide automotive experts, the awards judging committee, chaired by Dr. Jay Baron, the President and CEO of CAR and Director of CAR’s Coalition for Automotive Lightweighting Material (CALM), will assess each nomination and select the overall winner.

“The light duty fleet must undergo substantial technological changes to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said Dr. Baron. “Lightweighting is universally recognised by automakers as one of the strategic technologies. The Enlighten nominations demonstrate innovative applications in this competitive battleground engaging suppliers and manufacturers that further advance lightweight solutions.”

The 2015 Enlighten Award nominees are:

  • Automotive Performance Materials (APM) and Faurecia brought sustainable design to instrument panels, centre consoles and door panels of the Peugeot 308 by integrating a natural, hemp-based fibre with polypropylene, which allows for complex shapes and architectures along with a weight savings of 20-25 percent.
  • BAIC Group (Off-road Vehicle Technology centre) achieved a weight savings of 88.2 pounds in their new vehicle model BJ40 using CFRP, magnesium, aluminum and innovative optimised structuring of the hood, lower control arm, car-roof, chair skeleton and frame.
  • BASF, Ford, Magna Exteriors increased the overall body stiffness to the front of the Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang with carbon fibre composite grille opening reinforcements (GOR), achieving a 24 percent reduction in weight.
  • Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) and General Motors (Corvette) created TCA Ultra Lite, an advanced composite material that, depending on the application, is as light as aluminium. This new composite structure forms most of the upper body of the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette C7 and is also used to net-fit the composite class-A body panels. The system achieved a weight savings of 44 pounds per vehicle.
  • Dana Holding Corporation reduced cylinder head cover weight by 29 percent in the 2015 Ford F-250 through F-550, while still maintaining durability and stability by using MuCell, a moulding technology licensed from Trexel Industries.
  • Dow Automotive Systems created BETAFORCE, a structural adhesive designed for the demanding design challenges of the 2014 BMW i3. The two-component polyurethane adhesive enables lightweight vehicle construction for significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, fuel consumption and pollution by durably joining thermos. Weight savings for new to previous models are very significant and can range from 176 to almost 440 pounds per vehicle.
  • Faurecia: Emissions Control Technologies implemented an Analysis Led Design and Virtual Validation Process (ALDVV) in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which reduced the exhaust system weight 2.5 pounds by decreasing the pipe thickness for the muffler inlet pipe, over axle pipe and tail pipe.
  • Ford Motor Company saved up to 700 pounds on the 2015 F-150 through increased use of high-strength steel throughout the frame; the introduction of a first-in-class high-strength, military-grade, aluminium-alloy body; and other lightweight components.
  • FTE Automotive US designed a 35 percent lighter gear shift actuator module for double clutch transmissions to shift in between gears by converting hydraulic pressure into mechanical stroke for the 2015 Audi A4, Q5, A6 and C8.
  • General Motors: Cadillac used computer-aided engineering (CAE) development methods to achieve 163.1 pound weight reduction on the Alpha architecture while still providing mass efficiency, stiffness, safety, and structural feel and while delivering improved fuel economy without degrading on-road performance characteristics.
  • Maxion Wheels applied a new design process leveraging simulation and optimisation processes, achieving a 10 pound weight reduction, which was approved on the toughest durability test in the world called Biaxial, which helps to raise standard of approval and quality of product.
  • Trinseo developed a full thermoplastic lift-gate solution using a selection of optimal combination of LGF-PP and TPO compounds, which has been commercialised and implemented on the serial production of the 2015 Renault Espace, bringing a 10 percent weight savings over the previous metallic version.
  • Sika Automotive developed a high-viscous semi-structural one-component adhesive with high elongation and ultra-high modulus, used for bonding mixed materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the chassis of the BMW i3, having no baseline for comparison.
  • Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle: Axle used material removal techniques to reduce the weight of the front axle of a low and medium duty truck by 20 pounds, creating a fully manufacturable design solution as a direct result of the optimised design process.
  • Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle: Cargo Body used design optimisation techniques, integrated brim type panels and rearranging the base frame cross member pitches and side structure pitches to achieve a weight saving of 396.8 pounds per vehicle.
  • Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle: Cabin Wind Deflector achieved a 25 percent weight reduction for a wind deflector by utilising a design optimisation process when compared to the baseline design.
  • Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle: Transmission established a 30 percent weight reduction without increasing costs, while also improving the performance, reliability, durability, and safety of the product by establishing a new process of design, CAE, prototyping, validation and line improvements.

“Each year the entry list grows longer and brings in a diverse range of entries, each challenging the engineering norm when it comes to automotive weight reduction tactics,” said Dave Mason, Vice President, Global Automotive at Altair. “We are all anxious to hear who wins the award this year, since the competition has increased from when we first started three years ago.”

The Altair Enlighten Award is intended to honour the greatest achievements in weight savings each year; to inspire interest from industry, engineering, policymakers, educators, students and the public; to create further competition for new ideas in the industry; and to provide an incentive to share technological advances.

Altair says that the award aligns with the goals of CAR’s CALM initiative to support the cost-effective integration of mixed materials to achieve significant reductions in vehicle mass through the collaborative efforts of the material sectors and auto manufacturers.

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