Enlighten Award Nominations are in for 2015

16th July 2015

Altair today announced 17 nominations for the 2015 Enlighten Award. In its third year, the award will be presented in collaboration with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the 2015 CAR Management Briefing Seminars taking place in Traverse City, Mich. from August 3rd-6th.

The award aims to recognize the achievements in weight reduction within the automotive industry, from motorcycles to passenger cars, light trucks to commercial vehicles and buses. Comprised of worldwide automotive experts, the awards judging committee – chaired by Dr. Jay Baron, President and CEO of CAR and Director of CAR’s Coalition for Automotive Lightweighting Material (CALM) – will assess each nomination and select the overall winner.

“The light duty fleet must undergo substantial technological changes to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said Dr. Baron. “Lightweighting is universally recognized by automakers as one of the strategic technologies.  The Enlighten nominations demonstrate innovative applications in this competitive battleground engaging suppliers and manufacturers that further advance lightweight solutions.”

The 2015 Enlighten Award nominees are:

Automotive Performance Materials (APM) and Faurecia – brought sustainable design to instrument panels, center consoles and door panels of the Peugeot 308 by integrating a natural, hemp-based fiber with polypropylene, which allows for complex shapes and architectures along with a weight savings of 20-25 percent.

BAIC Group (Off-road Vehicle Technology Center) – achieved a weight savings of 88.2 pounds in their new vehicle model BJ40 using CFRP, magnesium, aluminum and innovative optimized structuring of the hood, lower control arm, car-roof, chair skeleton and frame.

BASF, Ford, Magna Exteriors – increased the overall body stiffness to the front of the Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang with carbon fiber composite grille opening reinforcements (GOR), achieving a 24 percent reduction in weight.

Continental Structural Plastics (CSP) and General Motors (Corvette) – created TCA Ultra Lite, an advanced composite material that, depending on the application, is as light as aluminium. This new composite structure forms most of the upper body of the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette C7.  The system achieved a weight savings of 20 pounds per vehicle.

Dana Holding Corporation – reduced cylinder head cover weight by 29 percent in the 2015 Ford F-250 through F-550, while still maintaining durability and stability by using MuCell®, a molding technology licensed from Trexel Industries.

Dow Automotive Systems – created BETAFORCE™, a structural adhesive designed for the demanding design challenges of the 2014 BMW i3. The two-component polyurethane adhesive enables lightweight vehicle construction for significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions, fuel consumption and pollution by durably joining thermos. Weight savings for new to previous models are very significant and can range from 176 to almost 440 pounds per vehicle.

Faurecia: Emissions Control Technologies – implemented an Analysis Led Design and Virtual Validation Process (ALDVV) in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which reduced the exhaust system weight 2.5 pounds by decreasing the pipe thickness for the muffler inlet pipe, over axle pipe and tail pipe.

Ford Motor Company – saved up to 700 pounds on the 2015 F-150 through increased use of high-strength steel throughout the frame; the introduction of a first-in-class high-strength, military-grade, aluminium-alloy body; and other lightweight components.

FTE Automotive USA, Inc. – designed a 35 percent lighter gear shift actuator module for double clutch transmissions to shift in between gears by converting hydraulic pressure into mechanical stroke for the 2015 Audi A4, Q5, A6 and C8.

General Motors: Cadillac – used computer-aided engineering (CAE) development methods to achieve 163.1 pound weight reduction on the Alpha architecture while still providing mass efficiency, stiffness, safety, and structural feel and while delivering improved fuel economy without degrading on-road performance characteristics.

Maxion Wheels – applied a new design process leveraging simulation and optimization processes, achieving a 10 pound weight reduction, which was approved on the toughest durability test in the world called Biaxial, which helps to raise standard of approval and quality of product.

Trinseo – developed a full thermoplastic lift-gate solution using a selection of optimal combination of LGF-PP and TPO compounds, which has been commercialized and implemented on the serial production of the 2015 Renault Espace, bringing a 10 percent weight savings over the previous metallic version.

Sika Automotive – developed a high-viscous semi-structural one-component adhesive with high elongation and ultra-high modulus, used for bonding mixed materials such as aluminium and carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the chassis of the BMW i3, having no baseline for comparison.

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd: Axle – used material removal techniques to reduce the weight of the front axle of a low and medium duty truck by 20 pounds, creating a fully manufacturable design solution as a direct result of the optimized design process.

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd: Cargo Body – used design optimization techniques, integrated brim type panels and rearranging the base frame cross member pitches and side structure pitches to achieve a weight saving of 396.8 pounds per vehicle.

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd: Cabin Wind Deflector – achieved a 25 percent weight reduction for a wind deflector by utilizing a design optimization process when compared to the baseline design.

Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicle Ltd: Transmission – established a 30 percent weight reduction without increasing costs, while also improving the performance, reliability, durability, and safety of the product by establishing a new process of design, CAE, prototyping, validation and line improvements.

“Each year the entry list grows longer and brings in a diverse range of entries, each challenging the engineering norm when it comes to automotive weight reduction tactics,” said Dave Mason, Vice President, Global Automotive at Altair. “We are all anxious to hear who wins the award this year, since the competition has increased from when we first started three years ago.”

The Altair Enlighten Award is intended to honor the greatest achievements in weight savings each year; to inspire interest from industry, engineering, policymakers, educators, students and the public; to create further competition for new ideas in the industry; and to provide an incentive to share technological advances.

The award aligns with the goals of CAR’s CALM initiative to support the cost-effective integration of mixed materials to achieve significant reductions in vehicle mass through the collaborative efforts of the material sectors and auto manufacturers.

See all the nominations at www.altairenlighten.com/award