U.S. Department of Energy Pushing for Stronger, Lighter Car Materials - BodyShop Business

U.S. Department of Energy Pushing for Stronger, Lighter Car Materials

Advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber being eyed for improved fuel economy.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced projects for the development of stronger and lighter materials for American-made vehicles. The projects include the development of modeling tools, as well as research into lightweight, high-strength alloys for energy-efficient engines.

“With strong, lightweight materials, we have an opportunity to dramatically increase vehicle fuel economy while helping America maintain its competitive edge in automotive design and manufacturing,” said Chu.

The Obama Administration believes replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials – including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber composites – will allow vehicle manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing the weight of the vehicle.

The U.S. Department of Energy noted that reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10 percent can improve the fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent.

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