This article considers the effect of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations increasingly demanding effect on materials which can permit automakers to reduce weight. Principal developments described here are in high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel, plastics, aluminum, guided by computerized structural analysis. The typical 1978 General Motors car incorporated 185 lb (83.9 kg) of plastics, 108 lb (49 kg) of aluminum, 2038 lb (924.4 kg) of steel, and 573 lb (259.9 kg) of cast iron -- for an average weight of 3474 lb (1575 kg). That was to meet the 18 mpg (7.7 kml) CAFE. Projections are that by 1985 the typical GM car will use about 240 to 300 lb (108 to 136 kg) of plastics, 200 to 240 lb (90 to 108 kg) of aluminum, 1500 lb (680.4 kg) of steel, 350 lb (158.8 kg) of cast iron -- for an average weight of approximately 2700 lb (1223.1 kg). That's what it might take to meet the 27.5 mph (11.7 kml) CAFE. These figures are certainly subject to change for a variety of reasons. For example, aluminum prices have increased rapidly, because the aluminum companies, anticipating heavy automobile demand, needed capital for expansion, and because aluminum is one of the most energy-intensive materials and therefore it has been hit harder by the recent skyrocketing energy price increases. The result has been that aluminum use has actually been reduced by some companies, and designers ordered to minimize its use in future models. The article lists specific applications of various materials in some 1979-model U. S. automobile

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Automotive Industries International

    Chilton Way
    Radnor, PA  United States  19089
  • Authors:
    • MCELROY, J
    • Wilson, R A
  • Publication Date: 1978-12

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00314834
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 22 1980 12:00AM