Power and Vehicles

Materials Technologies

Advanced materials are essential for boosting the fuel economy of modern automobiles while maintaining safety and performance.  Because it takes less energy to accelerate a lighter object than a heavier one, lightweight materials offer great potential for increasing vehicle efficiency.  Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials such as high-strength steel, magnesium (Mg) alloys, aluminum (Al) alloys, carbon fiber, and polymer composites can directly reduce the weight of a vehicle’s body and chassis by up to 50 percent and therefore reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption.  A 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight can result in a 6%-8% fuel economy improvement.

Materials Technologies:  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/technologies/materials/index.html

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