AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS

An analysis is presented of the potential use of advanced composite materials (ACM) in automotive structures based on the relative mechanical properties and costs of these materials and mild steel. The potential weight reduction obtainable by substituting ACM for steel in various components was analyzed on a functionally equivalent basis for a wide variety of fiber composites and system geometries. ACM considered were resin matrix, graphite fiber, graphite fiber/glass hybrid composites, and glass fiber composites. Continuous fiber glass composites can offer significant weight reduction in selected applications while potentially offering cost savings to the manufacturer. Graphite glass hybrids offer the potential for increased weight reduction but would currently cost more to manufacturers. However, at graphite prices of $6/lb to $10/lb, these hybrids would be competitive with steel in terms of manufacturing costs, and less expensive than either steel or fiber glass composites on a life cycle basis. If all graphite fiber composites were used, a further weight decrease would be obtained, but at a prohibitively high increase in manufacturing and life cycle vehicle costs. Additional problems and issues to be resolved prior to extensive use of ACM in production vehicles are also discussed.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared in cooperation with Corporate-Tech Planning, Inc., Waltham, MA.
  • Corporate Authors:

    ARGOS Associates, Incorporated

    12 Glengarry
    Winchester, MA  United States  01890

    Corporate-Tech Planning, Incorporated

    275 Wyman Street
    Waltham, MA  United States  02154

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Kaiser, R
  • Publication Date: 1978-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: 237 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00198758
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-HS-804-745 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-HS-7-01789
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 17 1980 12:00AM