Materials & Coatings



Virtual Passenger-Car Optimization Reduces Mass by 15-20 Percent, Without Compromises

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
A joint project of the U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership and Auto/Steel Partnership to use computer modeling to optimize use of advanced-high-strength steels in a vehicle passenger compartment illustrates no-compromise lightweighting by as much as 20 percent. The model, which calls for new load paths (transverse tubes that directly absorb side-impact forces) within the front seat, simultaneously optimizes geometry, grade and gauge. An important note: not only were researchers able to considerably reduce mass without compromising structural integrity, but they also achieved cost parity—“We used a higher grade of steel, but we used less,” says project co-chair Joe Polewarczyk. More at and


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