2011 Volume 52 Issue 5 Pages 818-824
The main Aluminium applications as state-of-the-art in European cars are presented. The main established Aluminium alloys and their application in automotive parts are presented together with recent developments. Also new studies and innovative multi-material concepts are discussed where Aluminium light-weight solutions are compared with that of other materials, like new steels, magnesium, plastics and composites. In the “SLC” (Super-Light-Car) project these new concepts were tested in a multi-material body-in-white prototype for a VW Golf V car, reaching a 34% weight reduction within a cost increment of 7,8 €/kg saved, with suitable technologies for high volume assembly cycles. In the final SLC concept Aluminium is the material of choice, proving its leading role in innovative light-weighting of cars. Aluminium achieves weight savings of parts up to 50% while maintaining safety and performance in a cost efficient way, competing efficiently with other light-weight materials.