Lightweighting challenge spans multiple materials

09/04/2012

Glancing at an announcement from a Tier I parts supplier recently regarding a lightweight seating system, I fully expected to see plastics or perhaps composites feature. The seating system after all was up to 5.7 kg lighter than the previous model. We've covered quite a bit of late on this plastics website about the role other materials such as steel are playing in lightweighting and this new seating system too had steel to thank for the weight loss.

The system developed by Johnson Controls for the new Kia cee'd achieved the weight reduction without sacrificing safety by using a lightweight metal structure of high-strength, thin-walled steel for the front and rear seats. Johnson Controls replaced thick-walled seat pipes with wafer-thin metal frames made of high-strength steel. This adds stability to the split rear seat system....
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