How innovations in the lightweight materials industry

A. Alberto Lugo

November 18, 2022


Increasing advances in materials are likely to lead to more efficient use of the automotive industry’s resources and drive the industry toward lighter, more efficient vehicles. These changes could result in 10-60 percent reductions in the weight of some components.

Cost considerations in the lightweight materials

Using lightweight materials is not new, but manufacturability has limited its application. This article will examine the lightweight materials market, their widgets, and how they may be applied in the automotive industry.

The lightweight materials market is projected to grow by 7.3% CAGR from 2020 to 2025. Lightweight materials include metals, composites, and ceramics. This is not an exhaustive list of materials, but it provides a good starting point. The use of lightweight materials in the automotive industry is expected to be an important trend shortly.

Carbon fiber has the highest weight reduction potential

Carbon fiber has the highest weight reduction potential and cost compared to other lightweight materials. However, it will likely have a significant role in selected applications. Its use will likely grow significantly across many industries, especially automotive.

The cost of carbon fiber will be significantly reduced over the next two decades. However, it will still cost more than aluminum. The delta between aluminum and carbon fiber will likely shrink from 80 percent to 30 percent by 2030.

A significant share of carbon fiber will likely be used in the future structural parts of premium vehicles. However, this is not the only high-technology material that has the potential to improve fuel economy.

Electric and autonomous vehicles will define the future of mobility

Electrified shared autonomous vehicles (also called robot taxis or shuttles) are a new kind of mobility service that can help address some of the biggest urban mobility challenges. They also could make urban transportation more affordable and accessible. They could also address mobility pain points such as crowded parking spaces.

In the past year, one-third of consumers have used a shared economy service. This is expected to grow over the next few years. However, it’s unclear when mass market adoption will start.

In addition, cities are beginning to adopt more regulations to reduce private-car-based mobility. They are also trying to shift passenger miles to public transport. However, this may increase congestion and other urban problems.

Research and development into lightweight materials

Developing lightweight materials is a major research and development theme in the transport industry. These materials could help reduce some components’ weight while improving fuel efficiency. Moreover, they could help in mitigating GHG emissions.

In recent years, lightweighting has become a significant research theme. There are several reasons for the trend. The most important are fuel-saving measures and stricter environmental regulations in several jurisdictions. In addition, heightened consumer awareness has led to research and development into lightweight materials.

Using lightweight materials could result in the replacement of metallic components cost-effectively. This would also reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.

Carbon fiber is stiffer than glass fiber

Whether you use carbon fiber or fiberglass, you must choose the best material for your application. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to know which will be most effective for your needs.

Carbon fiber is generally considered to be stiffer than fiberglass. Both materials have excellent strength-to-weight ratios, but carbon fiber is slightly stronger. This is because carbon fiber has a negative coefficient of thermal expansion, which means that it will expand slightly when temperatures are lowered. It’s also somewhat lighter than fiberglass, making it ideal for small movements.

Advanced materials could reduce some components

Developing an advanced material with a hefty price tag is no small feat. But if the competition is stiff, you’ll have to do some elbow grease to get your tee off the showroom floor. The good news is a few lucky few have the keys to the castle. Not to mention the plethora of lucky schmooses to boot. This may be the best place to be. The following three are slamming it at the moment. This list is assorted for the uninitiated, except for one.

Automotive applications

During the last decades, the auto industry has developed several materials for the car body. These materials are based on plastics, aluminum, and steel. They are often combined with other materials to create composites. They offer several advantages over steel, including corrosion resistance, flexibility in design, and functional integration.

The automotive industry is one of the largest users of raw materials. These materials are used in the production of auto parts and the assembly process. Auto manufacturers are also trying to minimize the use of petroleum products and are developing new plastics derived from plant-based materials.