A Mass Reduction Effort of the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle.
BUDD CO FORT WASHINGTON PA TECHNICAL CENTER
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Weight reduction, cost competitiveness, and elimination of the intrusion beam resulted from the redesign and fabrication using composite materials of the door outer panel and intrusion beam from a 1977 Chevrolet Impala. The basis of the redesign involved replacing these two steel parts with a single compression molding using the unique approach of simultaneously curing a sheet molding compound outside panel with a continuous glass fiber intrusion strap. A weight reduction of nearly 11 pounds per door was achieved. Additional weight savings are possible by taking advantage of the elimination of the intrusion beam to design thinner door structures. The parts consolidation approach allows the composite structure to be cost competitive with the original steel design for both the lower production car models and for the near to mid-term production contemplated for electric and hybrid vehicles using current state-of-the-art composite production techniques. In addition to the design, prototype fabrication, and costing phases of the report, two appendices containing material description, properties and compression molding production requirements are included.
- Surface Transportation and Equipment
- Laminates and Composite Materials