Evaluation of vehicle lightweighting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with focus on magnesium substitution

Kulkarni, S.S. and Edwards, D.J. and Pärn, E.A. and Chapman, C. and Aigbavboa, C. and Cornish, R. (2018) Evaluation of vehicle lightweighting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with focus on magnesium substitution. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 16 (6). pp. 869-888. ISSN 17260531 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Purpose

Vehicle weight reduction represents a viable means of meeting tougher regulatory requirements designed to reduce fuel consumption and control greenhouse gas emissions. This paper aims to present an empirical and comparative analysis of lightweight magnesium materials used to replace conventional steel in passenger vehicles with internal combustion engines. The very low density of magnesium makes it a viable material for lightweighting given that it is lighter than aluminium by one-third and steel by three-fourth.

Design/methodology/approach

A structural evaluation case study of the “open access” Wikispeed car was undertaken. This included an assessment of material design characteristics such as bending stiffness, torsional stiffness and crashworthiness to evaluate whether magnesium provides a better alternative to the current usage of aluminium in the automotive industry.

Findings

The Wikispeed car had an issue with the rocker beam width/thickness (b/t) ratio, indicating failure in yield instead of buckling. By changing the specified material, Aluminium Alloy 6061-T651 to Magnesium EN-MB10020, it was revealed that vehicle mass could be reduced by an estimated 110 kg, in turn improving the fuel economy by 10 per cent. This, however, would require mechanical performance compromise unless the current design is modified.

Originality/value

This is the first time that a comparative analysis of material substitution has been made on the Wikispeed car. The results of such work will assist in the lowering of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and simultaneously augment fuel economy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Greenhouse gas emissions, Emission reduction, Lightweight materials
Subjects: H100 General Engineering
H300 Mechanical Engineering
H800 Chemical, Process and Energy Engineering
J900 Others in Technology
K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Resilient Environments
REF UoA Output Collections > REF 2021 UoA12: Engineering
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA13: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 09:25
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2019 09:25
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6914

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