Plastic and polymer composite lightweighting can increase fuel efficiency substantially. A reduction of just 100 pounds can mean an increase of 6-7% in vehicle fuel efficiency. That’s 6-7% every day for the entire life of a vehicle! The chassis could be a vehicle’s single greatest opportunity to reduce weight.
BMW pioneered the i3 which uses a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for its chassis. The chassis is the structural backbone of a vehicle. For safety and longer range, BMW chose a plastic composite chassis structure.
In this exclusive video, Franz Storkenmaier, of BMW highlights automotive lightweighting. See the dynamic front-end crash vectoring technology at work in the electric BMW i3.
The 2016 Mercedes-AMG C-Class features a pultruded high-performance carbon composite strut. It improves NVH, corrosion resistance, and the stiffness to weight ratio. All this while reducing mass by 45%. The 50K tow unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced epoxy also features a fiberglass layer. This insulating fiberglass layer to resist stone chipping and corrosion.
The nylon glass composite used as a cross-member to support the rear differential. According to SPE, the first such application debuted in the 2016 Mercedes S-Class. Replacing traditional metals reduced transmission noise and mass by 25%.
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