Lightweight technology - new opportunities for the automotive industry

future technology: lightweight construction – the innovation of the automobile ist the lightness

Lightweight construction is considered to be a key technology and one of the most important future technologies in many industries, such as mechanical engineering, plant engineering, the energy industry and, above all, vehicle construction. The global industry is trying to achieve more quality by reducing the mass. New, lightweight materials and innovative design methods save energy, material and CO2 at the same time increasing the load capacity and efficiency of the products. Hardly any market segment is developing as dynamically as lightweight construction, opening up high market opportunities and competitive advantages for companies.

Due to the increasing importance of energy and resource efficiency as well as the legal regulations on environmental and climate protection, the automotive industry in particular is focusing on sustainability and the use of energy-saving potential. Due to the lightweight construction of vehicles, a lower material consumption and thus additional ecological benefits can be generated due to the lower weight. A lower weight leads to less fuel consumption, more driving pleasure, lower braking distances and thus also to a gain in safety. In the field of e-mobility, the usable range of electronically powered cars is increasing.

Lightweight construction in the automotive sector therefore has many advantages that can be realized through the use of innovative technologies and materials. In the field of lightweight construction, multi-material mixes, alloys, fiber-reinforced plastics or even materials made from renewable raw materials are combined with conventional materials. Carbon, aluminum and titanium are the keywords here.

In the field of construction, bonding as a joining technique has great potential for weight savings. Instead of welding components, they are connected with special adhesives or adhesive tapes. The advantage: The bonding stabilizes the structure of the lightweight materials, which allows the use of components with smaller wall thicknesses, which in turn saves weight. In addition, many adhesives and tapes can be processed manually, as well as automated, so that the use in single and mass production is possible.

Films are also used in lightweight construction technology. In the area of ​​sound insulation, so-called damping films are used, which can be used instead of conventional damping material and save up to 50% in weight. Due to their optimal coordination with lightweight materials, they are lighter than most of comparable products on the market and can be flexibly applied to all surfaces.

In engines, special friction-increasing discs are used to save weight, which consist of a tenth of a millimeter thick films. The significantly improved load transfer performance leads to less weight.

Infrared-reflective films can be attached to vehicle windows. In contrast to metal films, the transparent film filters infrared rays and is permeable to rays such as light, GPS or telephone signals. In summer, it has the advantage that less heat is generated in the vehicle and thus reduces the CO2 emissions due to the lower use of the air conditioning. As far as vehicle windows are concerned, a single-pane glazing with laminated filml is also conceivable. This combination results in a lower weight and lower cost, but offers the same resistance to breakage as a laminated glass pane. This technology was used, for example, for the panoramic roof of the new Jaguar XJ.

Lightweight construction technologies in the automotive sector and the associated use of films are currently gaining ground and will continue to evolve to provide customers with efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

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