Skip to main content

Research trends in polymer materials for use in lightweight vehicles

Abstract

Weight reduction of vehicle is very important because vehicle weight directly affects energy consumption. Studies researching lightweight vehicle manufacturing process that use polymers are reviewed in this paper. Approaches reducing the weights of vehicles using polymers most frequently involve replacing ferrous and non-ferrous metals with polymers and increasing the specific strengths and rigidities of polymers. Researches into polymers for use in lightweight vehicle are classified into high performance polymers, polymers for weight reduction, reinforced polymer composites, polymer sandwich panels, and polymer/metal hybrid systems. A diverse range of polymer materials can be used to make vehicle components and the manufacturing methods required to produce and work those materials vary greatly. Shaping processes must be chosen according to the materials being used and the product design. Replacement of metal products with polymer materials in current vehicles is limited. Large amounts of lightweight materials, such as polymers, will be greatly used to construct newly developed vehicles, including electric and electric/hybrid vehicles.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Stacy, C. D., Susan W. D., and Robert G. B., “Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 33,” http://cta.ornl.gov/data/tedb33/Edition33_ Full_Doc.pdf (Accessed 3 DEC 2014)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Zhang, Y., Zhu, P., and Chen, G., “Lightweight Design of Automotive Front Side Rail based on Robust Optimisation,” Thin-Walled Structures, Vol. 45, No. 7, pp. 670–676, 2007.

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  3. Kastensson, A., “Developing Lightweight Concepts in the Automotive Industry: Taking on the Environmental Challenge with the Sånätt Project,” Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 66, pp. 337–346, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Mahajan, G. V. and Aher, V. S., “Composite Material: A Review over Current Development and Automotive Application,” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 1–5, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Park, C. K., Kan, C. D. S., Hollowell, W. T., and Hill, S. I., “Investigation of Opportunities for Lightweight Vehicles using Advanced Plastics and Composites,” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Document ID: DOT HS 811 692, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Stewart, R., “Automotive Composites Offer Lighter Solutions,” Reinforced Plastics, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 22–28, 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Park, H. S., Dang, X. P., Roderburg, A., and Nau, B., “Development of Plastic Front Side Panels for Green Cars,” CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 44–52, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Sancaktar, E. and Gratton, M., “Design, Analysis, and Optimization of Composite Leaf Springs for Light Vehicle Applications,” Composite Structures, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 195–204, 1999.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Gaikwad, D., Sonkusare, R., and Wagh, S., “Composite Leaf Spring for Light Weight Vehicle-Materials, Manufacturing Process, Advantages & Limitations,” International Journal of Engineering and Technoscience, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 410–413, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bechtold, K., “How to Meet Increased Quality Performances of Plastic OEM Interior Trims,” Material Testing Product and Technology News, Vol. 36, No. 77, pp. 1–11, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Leibfried, R., “PEEK Parts-Reduce Weight without Sacrificing Performance,” Advanced Materials & Processes, Vol.171, No. 5, pp. 35–37, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Cantor, B., Grant, P., and Johnston, C., “Automotive Engineering: Lightweight, Functional, and Novel Materials,” CRC Press, pp. 29–35, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hergenrother, P. M., “The Use, Design, Synthesis, and Properties of High Performance/High Temperature Polymers: An Overview,” High Performance Polymers, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 3–45, 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Al-Hussaini, A. S., “Synthesis and Characterization of New Thermally Stable Polymers as New High-Performance Engineering Plastics,” High Performance Polymers, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 166–174, 2014.

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  15. Park, Y., Lyu, M. Y., and Paul, D. R., “Computer Simulation of Izod Impact Test for Impact Modifier Reinforced Nylon6,” Elastomers and Composites, Vol. 48, No. 2, pp.{172–179}, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Ünlü, B. S., Atik, E., and Köksal, S., “Tribological Properties of Polymer-based Journal Bearings,” Materials & Design, Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 2618–2622, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Demirci, M. T. and Düzcükoðlu, H., “Wear Behaviors of Polytetrafluoroethylene and Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyamide 66 Journal Bearings,” Materials & Design, Vol. 57, pp. 560–567, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Chang, L., Zhang, Z., Zhang, H., and Schlarb, A., “On the Sliding Wear of Nanoparticle Filled Polyamide 66 Composites,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 66, No. 16, pp. 3188–3198, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lee, L. J., Zeng, C., Cao, X., Han, X., Shen, J., and Xu, G., “Polymer Nanocomposite Foams,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 65, No. 15–16, pp. 2344–2363, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Sun, X., Turng, L. S., Gorton, P., Nigam, P., Buell, S., and Dougherty, E., “Investigation of Supercritical Fluid-Laden Pellet Injection Molding Foaming Technology(SIFT),” Society of Plastics Engineers, pp. 1539–1543, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Deligio, T., “Injection Molding with Mucell: Mucell Microcellular Foam Bubbling up in a Variety of Automotive Applications,” Modern Plastics Worldwide, Vol. 87, No. 7, pp. 12–15, 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Huang, H. X., Tian, J. D., and Guan, W. S., “Microcellular Injection-Compression Molding (MICM): A Novel Technology for Effectively Improving Cellular Structure of Polystyrene Foams,” Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp. 327–335, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Park, C. B., Behravesh, A. H., and Venter, R. D., “Low Density Microcellular Foam Processing in Extrusion Using CO2,” Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol. 38, No. 11, pp. 1812–1823, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Wouterson, E. M., Boey, F. Y. C., Wong, S. C., Chen, L., and Hu, X., “Nano-Toughening Versus Micro-Toughening of Polymer Syntactic Foams,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 67, No. 14, pp. 2924–2933, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hossieny, N., Ameli, A., and Park, C. B., “Characterization of Expanded Polypropylene Bead Foams with Modified Steam-Chest Molding,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 52, No. 24, pp. 8236–8247, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Zhai, W., Kim, Y. W., Jung, D. W., and Park, C. B., “Steam-Chest Molding of Expanded Polypropylene Foams. 2. Mechanism of Interbead Bonding,” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 50, No. 9, pp. 5523–5531, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Govert, S., Heim, H. P., Jarka, S., and Schnieders, J., “Pull and Foam - Injection Moulding Method: Foamed Ribs for Stiffening Plane Components,” Proc. of 70th Annual Technical Conference on Society of Plastics Engineers, Vol. 3, pp. 2477–2480, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Jung, D. W., Lee, E. K., and Park, C. B., “Study on the Properties of EPP Bead Foam,” Transactions of the Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers. A., Vol. 35, No. 9, pp. 991–997, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Pinnavaia, T. J. and Beall, G. W., “Polymer-Clay Nanocomposites,” John Wiley & Sons, pp. 97–109, 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Usuki, A., Kojima, Y., Kawasumi, M., Okada, A., Fukushima, Y., et al., “Synthesis of Nylon 6-Clay Hybrid,” Journal of Materials Research, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 1179–1184, 1993.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Presting, H. and König, U., “Future Nanotechnology Developments for Automotive Applications,” Materials Science and Engineering: C, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 737–741, 2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Wernette, R. C., “Automotive Nanotechnology: Big Rewards and Big Risks from the Inconceivably Small,” Westlaw Journal Automotive, Vol. 30, No. 10, pp. 1–7, 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Hussain, F., Hojjati, M., Okamoto, M., and Gorga, R. E., “Review Article: Polymer-Matrix Nanocomposites, Processing, Manufacturing, and Application: An Overview,” Journal of Composite Materials, Vol. 40, No. 17, pp. 1511–1575, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Kurahatti, R., Surendranathan, A., Kori, S., Singh, N., Kumar, A. R., and Srivastava, S., “Defence Applications of Polymer Nanocomposites,” Defence Science Journal, Vol. 60, No. 5, pp. 551–563, 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kim, D. H., Choi, D. H., and Kim, H. S., “Design Optimization of a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Composite Automotive Lower Arm,” Composites Part B: Engineering, Vol. 58, pp. 400–407, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Grauer, D., Hangs, B., Reif, M., Martsman, A., and Jespersen, S. T., “Improving Mechanical Performance of Automotive Underbody Shield with Unidirectional Tapes in Compression-Molded Direct-Long Fiber Thermoplastics(D-LFT),” SAMPE Journal, Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 7–15, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Elmarakbi, A., “Advanced Composite Materials for Automotive Applications: Structural Integrity and Crashworthiness,” John Wiley & Sons, pp. 3–28, 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Friedrich, K. and Almajid, A. A., “Manufacturing Aspects of Advanced Polymer Composites for Automotive Applications,” Applied Composite Materials, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 107–128, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Malnati, P., “Automotive CFRP: Repair of Replace?” High Performance Composites, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 46–53, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Jung, K. W., Kawahito, Y., and Katayama, S., “Mechanical Property and Joining Characteristics of Laser Direct Joining of CFRP to Polyethylene Terephthalate,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf.-Green Tech., Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 43–48, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Hodkinson, R. and Fenton, J., “Lightweight Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Design,” Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 173–192, 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Mallick, P. K., “Materials, Design and Manufacturing for Lightweight Vehicles,” Elsevier, pp. 208–230, 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Orgeas, L. and Dumont, P. J. J., “Wiley Encyclopedia of Composite,” John Wiley & Sons, pp. 2683–2718, 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Ryu, J. B. and Lyu, M. Y., “A Study on the Mechanical Property and 3D Fiber Distribution in Injection Molded Glass Fiber Reinforced PA66,” International Polymer Processing, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 389–401, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Lee, M. and Lyu, M. Y., “A Study on the Part Shrinkage in Injection Molded Annular Shaped Product for Glass Reinforced Polycarbonate,” Elastomers and Composites, Vol. 48, No.4, pp. 300–305, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Kim, K. S., Bae, K. M., Oh, S. Y., Seo, M. K., Kang, C. G., and Park, S. J., “Trend of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Composites for Lightweight Vehicles,” Elastomers and Composites, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 65–74, 2012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Ernst, H., Henning, F. and Robbins, J. R., “Long Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic LFT-D and Thermosetting D-SMC Processes for Lightweight Parts Production - Trends and Recent Applications,” Prof. of 9th ACCE Conference, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Beardmore, P. and Johnson, C. F., “The Potential for Composites in Structural Automotive Applications,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 251–281, 1986.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Fais, C., “Lightweight Automotive Design with HP-RTM,” Reinforced Plastics, Vol. 55, No. 5, pp. 29–31, 2011.

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  50. Hillermeier, R. W., Hasson, T., Friedrich, L. and Ball, C., “Advanced Thermosetting Resin Matrix Technology for Next Generation High Volume Manufacture of Automotive Composite Structures,” SAE World Congress and Exhibition, pp. 1176–1185, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Kelly, G., “Joining of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics for Automotive Applications,” Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Verrey, J., Wakeman, M. D., Michaud, V., and Månson, J. A., “Manufacturing Cost Comparison of Thermoplastic and Thermoset RTM for an Automotive Floor Pan,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 9–22, 2006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Wang, C. R., Gu, Y. Z., Zhang, K. M., Li, M., and Zhang, Z. G., “Rapid Curing Epoxy Resin and Its Application in Carbon Fibre Composite Fabricated using VARTM Moulding,” Polymers & Polymer Composites, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 315–323, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Hufenbach, W., Böhm, R., Thieme, M., Winkler, A., Mäder, E., et al., “Polypropylene/Glass Fibre 3D-Textile Reinforced Composites for Automotive Applications,” Materials & Design, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 1468–1476, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Pıhtılı, H. and Tosun, N., “Effect of Load and Speed on the Wear Behaviour of Woven Glass Fabrics and Aramid Fibre-Reinforced Composites,” Wear, Vol. 252, No. 11, pp. 979–984, 2002.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Abounaim, M., Hoffmann, G., Diestel, O., and Cherif, C., “Thermoplastic Composite from Innovative Flat Knitted 3D Multi-Layer Spacer Fabric using Hybrid Yarn and the Study of 2D Mechanical Properties,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 363–370, 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Herranen, H., Pabut, O., Eerme, M., Majak, J., Pohlak, M., et al., “Design and Testing of Sandwich Structures with Different Core Materials,” Materials Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 45–50, 2012.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. George, T., Deshpande, V. S., and Wadley, H. N., “Mechanical Response of Carbon Fiber Composite Sandwich Panels with Pyramidal Truss Cores,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 47, pp. 31–40, 2013.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Karlsson, K. F. and TomasÅström, B. T., “Manufacturing and Applications of Structural Sandwich Components,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 97–111, 1997.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Ning, H., Janowski, G. M., Vaidya, U. K., and Husman, G., “Thermoplastic Sandwich Structure Design and Manufacturing for the Body Panel of Mass Transit Vehicle,” Composite Structures, Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 82–91, 2007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Bannister, D., “An Introduction to Core Materials,” Reinforced Plastics, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 32–37, 2014.

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  62. Jacob, A., “Sandwich Solutions,” Reinforced Plastics, Vol. 48, No. 5, pp. 30–33, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Stewart, R., “At the Core of Lightweight Composites,” Reinforced Plastics, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 30–35, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Panjehpour, M., Ali, A. A. A., and Voo, Y. L., “Structural Insulated Panels: Past, Present, and Future,” Journal of Engineering, Project, and Production Management, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 2–8, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  65. George, T., Deshpande, V. S., Sharp, K., and Wadley, H. N., “Hybrid Core Carbon Fiber Composite Sandwich Panels: Fabrication and Mechanical Response,” Composite Structures, Vol. 108, pp. 696–710, 2014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Reany, J. and Grenestedt, J. L., “Corrugated Skin in a Foam Core Sandwich Panel,” Composite Structures, Vol. 89, No. 3, pp. 345–355, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Seong, D. Y., Jung, C. G., Yang, D. Y., and Chung, W. J., “Efficient Prediction of Local Failures for Metallic Sandwich Plates with Pyramidal Truss Cores during the Bending Processes,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 491–503, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Jung, C. G., Seung, D. Y., Yang, D. Y., Na, S. J., and Ahn, D. G., “Development of a Continuous Fabrication System for a Metallic Sandwich Plate with a Three-Dimensional Truss Core,” International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 45, No. 3–4, pp. 352–361, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Hyun, S. and Torquato, S., “Optimal and Manufacturable Two-Dimensional, Kagome-Like Cellular Solids,” Journal of Materials Research, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 137–144, 2002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Evans, A. G., “Lightweight Materials and Structures,” MRS Bulletin, Vol. 26, No. 10, pp. 790–797, 2001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Hutchinson, R. G., Wicks, N., Evans, A. G., Fleck, N. A., and Hutchinson, J. W., “Kagome Plate Structures for Actuation,” International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 40, No. 25, pp. 6969–6980, 2003.

    Article  MATH  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  72. Hyun, S., Karlsson, A. M., Torquato, S., and Evans, A., “Simulated Properties of Kagome and Tetragonal Truss Core Panels,” International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 40, No. 25, pp. 6989–6998, 2003.

    Article  MATH  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  73. Wicks, N. and Hutchinson, J. W., “Sandwich Plates Actuated by a Kagome Planar Truss,” Journal of Applied Mechanics, Vol. 71, No. 5, pp. 652–662, 2004.

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  74. Carradò, A., Faerber, J., Niemeyer, S., Ziegmann, G., and Palkowski, H., “Metal/Polymer/Metal Hybrid Systems: Towards Potential Formability Applications,” Composite Structures, Vol. 93, No. 2, pp. 715–721, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Grujicic, M., Sellappan, V., Arakere, G., Seyr, N., Obieglo, A., et al., “The Potential of a Clinch-Lock Polymer Metal Hybrid Technology for Use in Load-Bearing Automotive Components,” Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, Vol. 18, No. 7, pp. 893–902, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. AmancioFilho, S. and Dos Santos, J., “Joining of Polymers and Polymer-Metal Hybrid Structures: Recent Developments and Trends,” Polymer Engineering & Science, Vol. 49, No. 8, pp. 1461–1476, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Lucchetta, G., Marinello, F., and Bariani, P., “Aluminum Sheet Surface Roughness Correlation with Adhesion in Polymer Metal Hybrid Overmolding,” CIRP Annals-Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 559–562, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Honkanen, M., Hoikkanen, M., Vippola, M., Vuorinen, J., and Lepistö, T., “Metal-Plastic Adhesion in Injection-Molded Hybrids,” Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol. 23, No. 13–14, pp. 1747–1761, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Grujicic, M., Sellappan, V., Omar, M., Seyr, N., Obieglo, A., et al., “An Overview of the Polymer-to-Metal Direct-Adhesion Hybrid Technologies for Load-Bearing Automotive Components,” Journal of Materials Processing Technology, Vol. 197, No. 1, pp. 363–373, 2008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Ferret, B., Anduze, M., and Nardari, C., “Metal Inserts in Structural Composite Materials Manufactured by RTM,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 29, No. 5, pp. 693–700, 1998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Sasdelli, M., Karbhari, V., and Gillespie, J., “On the Use of Metal Inserts for Attachment of Composite Components to Structural Assemblies-A Review,” International Journal of Vehicle Design, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 353–369, 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Abu Obaid, A. and Yarlagadda, S., “Structural Performance of the Glass Fiber-Vinyl Ester Composites with Interlaminar Copper Inserts,” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 195–203, 2008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Min-Young Lyu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lyu, MY., Choi, T.G. Research trends in polymer materials for use in lightweight vehicles. Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf. 16, 213–220 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12541-015-0029-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12541-015-0029-x

Keywords

  • Polymer nanocomposite
  • Reinforced polymer composite
  • Polymer sandwich panel
  • Polymer/metal hybrid system
  • Carbon fiber
  • Glass fiber