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Automotive Lightweight Materials Summit Adopts Holistic Theme In Achieving Mass Reduction In Vehicles

Jolly Sunshine Limited | Updated: Jul 27, 2018

The 7th Annual Global Automotive Lightweight Materials (GALM) Summit returns to the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI, August 21–23 with a host of prominent speakers set to deliver their takes on this timely topic, among them representatives of Big Three OEMs Ford and GM. Under the theme of Reduce Mass, Drive Down Costs And Enable More Intelligent Designs, the event’s aim is to assist designers in optimizing the application of advanced material combinations, including Gen 3 steels, aluminum, magnesium and composites, to maximize safety and performance, and reduce cost and weight. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

Included in the speaker schedule is Jeff McGarry, Engineering Group Manager, ME Body In White Dispense Technologies General Motors, who incidentally droves a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. McGarry views continued advancement in next generation Gen 3+ steels as having the most potential in delivering cost efficient automotive lightweighting but there are challenges, the main one being achieving a balance between lightweighting, vehicle performance, and corrosion performance. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

McGarry heads a team responsible for the equipment and the processing of adhesives and sealers within the body shop. “Recently we have focused our efforts on application optimization to apply the right amount of adhesive and avoid the quality issues from over application [namely weld and paint quality issues],” he says McGarry sees developments in adhesive materials that allow greater control during application and processing, improved wash resistance to avoid paint quality issues, and materials that are more stable over longer periods of time. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

The main technical challenges to increased use of adhesives, according to McGarry, is in-process verification. “Verification of adhesive wet-out within the joint can only be completed by destructive evaluation. Destructive evaluation is costly and time consuming. Ultrasonic evaluation appears to be the future but the technology is not robust enough for widespread use in the body shop,” he notes. McGarry is looking forward to presentations at GALM that focuses on advanced high strength steels and advanced joining methods of dissimilar materials. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.

Jason Balzer, Body Structures Supervisor and Technical Specialist at Ford Motor Co., drives a 2016 Ford Mustang GT350 for the record. He started his career at Ford as a weight engineer developing new lightweight designs, predominately in magnesium. The 20-year veteran’s current focus is on development and implementation of new body structure technologies to reduce the weight of vehicles. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder. 

Balzer believes that high strength steels will continue to play an important role in our vehicles as it provides a good balance between performance (stiffness & strength), manufacturability, and cost. “Some of the new grades show promise to aid with vehicle weight reduction as well,” he says. Joining of Gen 3 steels, specifically LME (liquid metal embrittlement), is one of the main challenges the industry is working to overcome according to Balzer, while challenges are also associated with the formability of these steels. “Gen 3 steels are a great start with good formability at the 1000 and 1200 MPa levels, but I think looking forward, we’re going see more formable materials.”

Balzer hasn’t given up on alternative materials playing their part in vehicle lightweighting. “All materials have their place. We’re really focused on using the right material in the right application,” he concludes. Game supply and game card sleeve and trading card sleeve and soft card holder.