Lightweighting is a concept in the auto industry about building cars and trucks that are less heavy as a way to achieve better fuel efficiency and handling. The main guiding ideology of automobile weight reduction is to ensure the steady improvement of performance and to design various assembly components in an energy-efficient manner to continuously optimize the model spectrum. Automotive lightweighting is the integration of the advantages of design, materials, and advanced processing and forming technologies. It is a systematic project that combines the four aspects of automobile performance improvement, weight reduction, structural optimization, and reasonable price. It is of great significance to promote the further development of automobile manufacturing.
Although the weight reduction of automobiles is a combination of advantages of design, materials, and craftsmanship, it is mainly the weight reduction of materials. To sum up, there are two main types of materials used for automotive lightweight: one is low-density lightweight materials, mainly aluminum, magnesium, titanium alloy materials, and plastics and composite materials; the other is high-strength materials such as high-strength steel.
In terms of environmental protection, there is a problem of environmental pollution in the recycling process of polymer-based plastic products among lightweight materials, so it is limited in use. Aluminum, magnesium and titanium alloy materials are light metal materials with a low density among all current metal materials (aluminum alloy about 2.7 g/cm3, magnesium alloy about 1.74 g/cm3, titanium alloy about 4.51 g/cm3, and the density of steel About 7.8 g/cm3), a variety of alloy materials formed by these metal materials can improve the active and passive safety of automobiles, meet the requirements of strict safety regulations, and further improve the safety design of automobiles. Instead of steel, light metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium are the materials of choice for lightweight vehicles, and they are also important directions for the future development of automobiles.
Applications of titanium and titanium alloys in automotive lightweight
Titanium and titanium alloys are the most important new structure and functional materials with excellent comprehensive properties in the 21st century. The density of titanium is 4.51 g / cm3, which is between aluminum (2.7 g/cm3) and iron (7.6 g/cm3); the specific strength of titanium is higher than that of aluminum alloy and steel, and its toughness is comparable to that of steel; the corrosion resistance of titanium is better than that of stainless steel, and it has excellent corrosion resistance even in the marine atmospheric environment and chloride atmosphere attacked by chloride ions; titanium has a wide working temperature range. Low-temperature titanium alloys still maintain good plasticity at -253 ℃, and the working temperature of heat-resistant titanium alloys can reach about 550 ℃. Its heat resistance is higher than aluminum alloys and magnesium; titanium also has good processability and welding properties.
The application of titanium in automobiles is mainly divided into two categories: one is used to reduce the mass of reciprocating parts of internal combustion engines; the other is used to reduce the total mass of automobiles. In the new generation of cars, titanium is mainly used in engine components and chassis components, which can be used to make engine system valves, valve spring seats and connecting rods, as well as springs, exhaust systems, half shafts and fastenings in chassis components, etc.
Titanium and titanium alloys have entered the field of automobile manufacturing in the 1950s, but their development has been slow, mainly due to the high cost of titanium. Titanium has a high melting point and lively chemical properties. It has a strong chemical affinity with elements such as O, H, N, and C, making the extraction of pure titanium very difficult; another reason is the high price of alloying elements. Most titanium alloys use high-priced V as an alloying element to improve strength, and Al-X is added as an intermediate alloy. Replacing the V element with cheap Fe, Cr, and other alloy elements is an effective method to reduce the cost of titanium alloys in the future.
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