Lightweighting cars with carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium and magnesium

At the beginning of this year, China’s first self-dumping truck equipped with a carriage that is made of carbon fiber composite material was completed. The truck is 8.6 meters long, with a load capacity of 50 tons and a curb weight of 4.8 tons, 29 percent lighter than a truck with a metal carriage. This marked the first successful use of composite material in the carriage of heavy-duty truck in China, signifying that China has achieved new breakthroughs in using composite materials in reducing the weight of automobile.

If a car’s weight is reduced by 10 percent, its fuel efficiency can increase by 6 to 8 percent; when the overall weight of a car is cut down by 100kg, its oil consumption per 100km will be reduced by 0.3 to 0.6 liters; a reduction of 1 percent of the weight of a car can reduce oil consumption by 0.7 percent. Besides, a reduction of 100kg in a car’s weight can reduce carbon dioxide emission by about 5 grams per kilometer.

World carbon fiber production is at about 60,000 tons now and could be 118,000 tons in 2017.

Magnesium, Titanium and Aluminum for lightweighting

Aluminum has the highest volumes (about 50 million tons now) for displacing steel (1.5 billion tons).

Aluminum production was 48 million tons in 2012 and should reach about 72 million tons in 2017.

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