Whether vehicles are powered by internal combustion engines, electric or hybrid systems, there is a drive to save weight and reduce the production of carbon dioxide associated with the road transport sector. The introduction of tailor welded blanks is one approach the industry has adopted to make progress in this area.
Lighter weight material options are available, but care is required in their use because there can be significant cost implications. Also, in some cases, the speed of the manufacturing processes, such as curing composites, is not a good match with the requirements of high volume vehicle manufacturers.
It is often the case that the use of lighter materials comes about through a detailed understanding of how the combination of both material and design, together, can best produce savings. TWI is well placed to offer advice in both these areas, so ensuring that an optimised systems approach to lightweighting is taken.
In some cases TWI's Members have developed a broad strategy of lightweighting, but require TWI's in-depth knowledge to ensure that, at the detailed product and process level, solutions will have the required level of low cost and high reliability. As well as assisting with the technology, TWI can also ensure that suitable training is given to all those involved.
In other cases TWI works with its Members to develop innovative approaches and take them through to factory use.
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