Making vehicles lighter is a major goal as carmakers strive to build vehicles that are more fuel efficient.
Making vehicles lighter is a major goal as carmakers strive to build vehicles that are more fuel efficient. Now they have a new option: a laser welding system from Shiloh Industries Inc. that can combine different strengths and grades of aluminum in one stampable sheet.
The system puts the strength exactly where necessary and reduces material thickness where it's not needed. Shiloh CEO Ramzi Hermiz says the proprietary system can make aluminum panels that are 25% lighter than ordinary aluminum panels and 68% lighter than conventional steel panels.
Hermiz says Shiloh is talking to carmakers now about where to first apply the new system.
If aluminum-intensive cars are ever to become more than an occasional curiosity, automakers may have to give up their weld shops.
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