Demand for Lightweight Automotive Materials on the RiseSeptember 1, 2014
Demand by North American light-vehicle manufacturers for lightweight automotive materials (metals, polymers and composites) is expected to climb 5.2 percent annually to 22.3 billion lb. in 2018. The race to lighten automobiles largely is being driven by increasingly strict fuel economy standards—these and other trends are presented in Lightweight Automotive Materials in North America, a study from The Freedonia Group Cleveland, OH.
Among noted applications for newer, lighter-weight materials are exterior and structural components, expected to account for nearly 75 percent of total average vehicle weight reduction through 2023.Aluminum will enjoy rapid growth in exterior and structural applications as automakers explore its use in place of steel for body components such as closures and panels. Meanwhile, look for high-strength steel to offer the best opportunities for growth based on its relatively low cost and the ongoing development of new grades that combine strength and formability, ideal for structure and frame applications.
See also: Freedonia Group