Demand for lightweight construction systems in the automotive industry is now at an all-time high, with the aim being to cut fuel consumption, costs and CO2 emissions. According to VCD Verkehrsclub Deutschland, reducing the weight of a vehicle by 100 kilograms (220lbs) lowers fuel consumption by 0.5 liters over a distance of 100 kilometers and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 kilograms (0.75 miles) over the same distance. Lightweight structures are now more important than ever given the trend toward future-oriented drive technologies such as electric mobility.
Germany based Bayer MaterialScience has been developing a wide range of energy-efficient polyurethane materials for the automotive sector for many years. At UTECH 2012, the company went a step further further with the presentation of the Bayflex RIM Light Weight polyurethane system that can be used to further reducing the weight of finished components by up to 30 percent. With a density of just 0.9 kilograms per liter, this material is even lighter than water! Applications include front and rear fascias, rocker panels and fenders as well as the pictured Audi R8 bumper.
This solution owes its lightweight design to the high-grade Bayflex polyurethane system in tandem with a clever combination of fillers that replace the usual mineral fibers,” explained Dr. Birgit Meyer zu Berstenhorst, who was responsible for developing the composite material. “The excellent mechanical properties remain intact,” she added. The material enables a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and, with certain vehicle models, also improves driving dynamics. In electric cars, this better compensates for the considerable weight of the battery and helps extend the vehicle’s range.
In addition to car components, Bayflex RIM Light Weight can be used for applications in other forms of mobility such as trucks, buses, trains, aircraft and ships. Bayer experts believe it is also suitable for use in the leisure and furniture sector, the construction industry and the IT segment.
Press Release issued by Bayer MaterialScience