Innovative Structural and Joining Concepts for Lightweight Design of Heavy Vehicle Systems

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Recent advances in the area of Metal Matrix Composites (MMC's) have brought these materials to a maturity stage where the technology is ready for transition to large-volume production and commercialization. The new materials seem to allow the fabrication of higher quality parts at less than 50 percent of the weight as compared to steel, especially when they are selectively reinforced with carbon, silicon carbide, or aluminum oxide fibers. Most of the developments in the MMC materials have been spurred, mainly by applications that require high structural performance at elevated temperatures, the heavy vehicle industry could also benefit from this emerging ... continued below

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Prucz, Jacky C.; Shoukry, Samir N. & William, Gergis W. August 31, 2005.

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Description

Recent advances in the area of Metal Matrix Composites (MMC's) have brought these materials to a maturity stage where the technology is ready for transition to large-volume production and commercialization. The new materials seem to allow the fabrication of higher quality parts at less than 50 percent of the weight as compared to steel, especially when they are selectively reinforced with carbon, silicon carbide, or aluminum oxide fibers. Most of the developments in the MMC materials have been spurred, mainly by applications that require high structural performance at elevated temperatures, the heavy vehicle industry could also benefit from this emerging technology. Increasing requirements of weight savings and extended durability are the main drivers for potential insertion of MMC technology into the heavy vehicle market. Critical elements of a typical tractor-trailer combination, such as highly loaded sections of the structure, engine components, brakes, suspensions, joints and bearings could be improved through judicious use of MMC materials. Such an outcome would promote the DOE's programmatic objectives of increasing the fuel efficiency of heavy vehicles and reducing their life cycle costs and pollution levels. However, significant technical and economical barriers are likely to hinder or even prevent broad applications of MMC materials in heavy vehicles. The tradeoffs between such expected benefits (lower weights and longer durability) and penalties (higher costs, brittle behavior, and difficult to machine) must be thoroughly investigated both from the performance and cost viewpoints, before the transfer of MMC technology to heavy vehicle systems can be properly assessed and implemented. MMC materials are considered to form one element of the comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy pursued by the High Strength/Weight Reduction (HS/WR) Materials program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for structural weight savings and quality enhancements in heavy vehicles. The research work planed for the first year of this project (June 1, 2003 through May 30, 2004) focused on a theoretical investigation of weight benefits and structural performance tradeoffs associated with the design, fabrication, and joining of MMC components for heavy-duty vehicles. This early research work conducted at West Virginia University yielded the development of integrated material-structural models that predicted marginal benefits and significant barriers to MMC applications in heavy trailers. The results also indicated that potential applications of MMC materials in heavy vehicles are limited to components identified as critical for either loadings or weight savings. Therefore, the scope of the project was expanded in the following year (June 1, 2004 through May 30, 2005) focused on expanding the lightweight material-structural design concepts for heavy vehicles from the component to the system level. Thus, the following objectives were set: (1) Devise and evaluate lightweight structural configurations for heavy vehicles. (2) Study the feasibility of using Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) for critical structural components and joints in heavy vehicles. (3) Develop analysis tools, methods, and validated test data for comparative assessments of innovative design and joining concepts. (4) Develop analytical models and software for durability predictions of typical heavy vehicle components made of particulate MMC or fiber-reinforced composites. This report summarizes the results of the research work conducted during the past two years in this projects.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: AC26-02EE50692
  • DOI: 10.2172/912759 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 912759
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc884999

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 31, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 3:57 p.m.

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Prucz, Jacky C.; Shoukry, Samir N. & William, Gergis W. Innovative Structural and Joining Concepts for Lightweight Design of Heavy Vehicle Systems, report, August 31, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884999/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.