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ETATS 2019: Experts shed light on innovations in vehicle light weighting – ET Auto

New Delhi: As the Indian automobile industry is gravitating towards meeting fuel efficiency and new emission norms, industry leaders shared their views on the various innovation that can be done in the vehicle body materials that will help in enabling megatrends.

In a panel discussion on ‘Materials in Vehicle Body Engineering’ experts shared insights into the prime automotive lightweighting materials that have gained significant traction in consumption in the recent times.

Ganesh Gadekar, Head-Vehicle Safety Integration, Passenger & EVs, Research Centre, Tata Motors began the discussion by stating that all Indian OEMs are putting their best efforts to bring mature ways of implementing lightweighting technologies in their production process. “OEMs are making use of simulation process that has the potential to eliminate costly prototype testing and arriving at lightweight innovative right at the designing stage. Plus, we are making use of different grades of plastics in order to bring down the overall cost of the end product without compromising on product performance,” Gadekar said.

According to a Fact.MR report, in 2018, global volume sales of automotive lightweight materials reached approximately 74 kilotons, and is pegged to record a Y-o-Y growth of 3.4 per cent in 2019.

Underlining the increasing use of polymers in automotive space, Suagata Pal, Adviser, Programme Management, iCAT said that while Plastic represents only 10 per cent of the weight of vehicle, it occupies about 50 per cent of the overall volume of the vehicle. “Advancement of polymer material and its application are complementing the growth of innovations in mobility solutions. The use of polymer materials will further get accelation only when OEMs, system manufacturers, raw material manufactures and academia will work closely, ”

Giving a glimpse of how a Brieux Boisdequin, VP – Automotive Businesses, BASF began the discussion by “As we shift towards electric mobility, new battery chemistries are being introduced. We are developing the essential thermal management solutions and lightweighting technologies that will help in toning down the high cost of sourcing raw materials.”

The discussion proved to be a valuable format for involving more stakeholders and sourcing opinions and ideas on the future of Indian automotive lightweighting.

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