NEW-AGE AUTOMOTIVE MATERIALS TO DRIVE VEHICLE LIGHTWEIGHTING
Auto Tech Review|July 2020
NEW-AGE AUTOMOTIVE MATERIALS TO DRIVE VEHICLE LIGHTWEIGHTING
The automotive industry globally is witnessing an ever-increasing focus on vehicle lightweighting, essentially aimed at improving fuel economy as well as on emission reduction.
Suhrid Barua

And to meet all these objectives, new-age automotive materials play an important role. It is important to understand that India has always been a cost-sensitive market and though there is no doubt that it is steadily moving towards being a value-sensitive market, cost continues to be an important criterion towards selection of automotive materials for manufacturing. However, it is important to understand that cost alone is not driving the use of newer raw materials for production of automotive components.

The need to leverage alternate automotive materials has been necessitated by increasing regulatory-mandated changes. The automotive industry has been witnessing a steady adoption of sustainable materials in the construction of various components of vehicles such as body-in-white, chassis, body panels, tyres, wheels, interiors panels, seats and windows. And the objective behind developing futuristic automotive materials has been majorly driven by the focus on bringing about cost reduction of the raw material. Besides the focus on trimming down raw material cost, the larger goal of enabling new-age materials in the automotive space is to improve the total cost of ownership.

GLOBAL TRENDS

Globally, the automotive industry is witnessing a R&D focus on polymer compounds and composites. This increasing push for polymer compounds can be attributed to the fact that these materials have the capabilities to achieve emission reduction, lightweighting and structural rigidity that serve as key attributes for automotive material development. Further, aluminium is also emerging as a promising material, especially in the vehicle body.

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July 2020