Automotive Lightweighting: The Case for Plastics

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Understanding and choosing from all the different material options is one of the biggest challenges with automotive lightweighting. That’s why it’s important to consider alternatives to metals like magnesium and aluminum in favor of plastic components. (Sponsored Content)

 

Understanding and choosing from all the different material options is one of the biggest challenges with automotive lightweighting. That’s where rapid prototyping comes in. Choosing from all the different material options is one of the biggest challenges with automotive lightweighting. That’s where rapid prototyping comes in.

 

Magnesium and aluminum are excellent alternatives to steel for lightweighting, but thermoplastic and thermoset materials offer robust possibilities as well. An extensive selection ion of glass-, metal- or, ceramic-filled polymers as well as liquid silicone rubber (LSR) can be used to replace metal parts, thus reducing product cost and weight while improving durability.

Some of the best alternatives include polypropylene, polyethylene and polycarbonate, just to name a few. Liquid silicone rubber, or LSR, is a surprising but versatile material for many molding applications. Reducing weight by 50-percent in some cases, these polymers offer major weight saving potential in the automotive industry.

With several options to choose from, the best way to test the viability of these plastic materials is with rapid prototypes that you can get into testing quickly…READ MORE.