Car "slimming" focused on lightweight materials to meet the opportunity

Various indications indicate that the demand for and concern for the "slimming movement" in the domestic car industry is increasing.

The reporter learned from the China Automobile Manufacturing Equipment Innovation Alliance (hereinafter referred to as the “Alliance”) that in the process of preparation for the “04 Technology Major Project” to be applied for in 2013, many companies will use the spotlight on the “lightweight” body. About a quarter of the proposed projects that have been solicited are related to “lightweight”.

Such a high degree of attention implies that in the future, the lightweight materials market that meets the low-carbon trend is very promising.

Focus on the "lightweight" project

Right now, all topics that are closely related to the word “energy saving and emission reduction” should not be missed, and “lightweight” cars are no exception. This term, which is not new in foreign countries, is still in its infancy in the country. In recent years, it has become a new competition point for various manufacturers due to new strategic industries such as new materials and high-end equipment manufacturing.

From January to May of this year, China’s dependence on crude oil imports reached 55.2%, surpassing that of the United States for the first time, ranking first in the world, and the main force of consumption was automobile gasoline. On the other hand, China's car ownership is still rising, reaching 100 million in August 2010 and is expected to jump to 200 million by 2020.

According to Chen Changnian, deputy director of the Expert Committee of the Alliance and senior adviser of the Academy of Engines, lightweight car body is the most important key area for energy saving and new energy vehicles. When the weight of a car is reduced by 10%, it can achieve a fuel saving of up to 8%. According to a rough calculation of the average annual fuel consumption of 2 tons for each car, if the fuel consumption drops by 8%, the annual savings of 100 million vehicles will reach 100 billion yuan.

The enlargement meeting of the Council of Directors held on November 2 discussed the application of the "04 Special Project" major science and technology project to be launched in 2013. Among the dozens of projects reviewed at the meeting, lightweight materials manufacturing technology and equipment have become prominent hot spots, including six composite materials manufacturing and forming equipment projects and seven aluminum alloy manufacturing technologies and forming equipment projects.

It is reported that in the past four years, the League has organized member units to apply for more than 200 major national special projects, approved more than 40 projects, and the state has invested more than 300 million yuan in supporting funds. The project covers the entire range of automobile manufacturing equipment. Therefore, the content of the project to be applied for this time is directly related to the direction of the future development of China's auto industry.

The reporter also learned that the reporting units have been more enthusiastic than ever before. The number of car companies that are interested in reporting includes FAW, Dongfeng, Chang'an, Chery and Geely.

If we say that the establishment of the Strategic Alliance for Automotive Lightweight Technology Innovation in 2008 puts China's auto “thin weight” on the agenda, then this boom for the combination of “lightweight” related technology R&D and production, education and research will undoubtedly promote the “schedule”. "The progress.

At the "2011 Annual Meeting of the China Society of Automotive Engineers" held on October 26, Zhang Ning, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automotive Engineers, also stated: "With the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, there are a total of 500 million yuan (related to light weight The project is being implemented. By the end of 2013, a series of models will be developed to form a production capacity of 170,000."

It is worth reminding that “many projects have not yet reached the level to which they can report, and they need to be revised,” said the relevant person in charge of the coalition. The unit wishing to apply for the “2013 Special Project” should complete the discussion draft and the final draft as soon as possible.

New materials become hot spots

The main materials for implementing lightweight vehicles include carbon fiber, composite materials, aluminum alloys, and magnesium alloys. For example, magnesium alloy engines can reduce weight by as much as 55% to 60%. Therefore, under the "lightweight" major issues, the demand for these materials in the automotive industry will be more optimistic than before.

As the cost of carbon fiber autos is still high, the popularity of applications has been affected. Chen Changnian pointed out that with the large use of carbon fiber, domestic prices are expected to drop further to about 70 yuan/kg, and related projects will have strategic significance.

In addition, in terms of composite materials, various international research reports indicate that the weight reduction of composite automotive parts can reach more than 50%. At present, the automotive industry in the United States and Europe has become the largest user of composite materials. In recent years, some heavy-duty truck manufacturers in China have also launched composite cabs. The weight of truck composite springs that we have developed and begun to use is about 75%.

“German professors have such a view that lightweight materials are varied and have their own advantages and disadvantages. To sum up, there is no best, only the most appropriate.” Zhang Ning said that engineers need a lot of experience to really use this sentence In place.

However, vehicle weight reduction is not just a matter of material. “We used to do a lot of lightweight work in the past. Basically, after replacing it with a new one, we replaced it with new technology. But (later) discovered that this is not the case,” he said.

“We have noticed that many companies now take the lead in the design department, and the materials and manufacturing departments keep up with the collective action to promote this work.” Zhang Ning believes that lightweighting is to meet the automotive use requirements, safety and cost control requirements Under the circumstances, the integrated integration of structural design, manufacturing technology, and material selection.

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