Roof Lightweighting Study
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Full Description:

Vehicle mass reduction or “lightweighting” has been deemed very important by automakers because of many benefits including performance and fuel economy. The arrival of automated, connected, electrified, and shared (ACES) technology will make lightweighting more important in the future because of added weight and range anxiety in battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The CALM group selected the vehicle roof structure for a co-development lightweighting study because it provides an opportunity for mixed-material application. The baseline vehicle for this research is the 2011 Honda Accord which has a mild steel roof structure. The design space contains twelve parts including the roof panel, roof bows, roof rails, and the headers.

Lightweighting ideas submitted by various CALM members were tested on various qualitative and quantitative parameters such as manufacturing readiness, joining feasibility, reparability, ability of computer simulation, etc. The project team selected four concepts after filtering through various combinations of the lightweighting ideas. All four concepts were studied by computer aided engineering methods including finite element analysis and design of experiments. The performance of the lightweight concepts were compared to the baseline.

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