Lightweight engineering

Definition

Lightweight engineering is a key technology when it comes to facing the challenges of energy and resource efficiency. At the same, it enhances the performance and productivity of machines and equipment. Typical goals are to develop structures with the lowest possible weight and to reduce the weight of individual components to a minimum, thus allowing us, for example, to design faster and more efficient means of transport.

Lightweight engineering is also capable of fulfilling conflicting requirements: high stability despite the minimum use of material by constructing extremely light but stable and safe components, or lower car fuel consumption while improving vehicle safety. Lightweight engineering therefore not only aims at single goals such as weight reduction but also at general optimization – technological, economic and ecological.

 

Advantages

For example, lightweight construction technologies enable:

  • Weight savings through lower material requirements thanks to lightweight alloys with better mechanical properties
  • New properties through the development of new coating technologies
  • More energy-efficient coating processes by implementing innovative methods and machines
  • Reduced fiber fracture during processing by adapting surfaces
  • Lower direct material costs
  • Legal requirements to be met
  • Competitive advantages

 

Potential

Lightweight materials are materials of the future. In the automotive industry, lightweight engineering offers a huge potential to minimize CO2 as well as optimize fuel consumption. It is widely implemented both in vehicle as well as airplane construction. The goal is always to increase performance, range or productivity while saving resources, costs and energy at the same time. Especially when it comes to moving objects – from airplanes through cars right up to slides on machines – the focus is on enhancing acceleration and velocity or saving energy without impairing performance. These are not the only industries where lightweight engineering plays a key role. It is increasingly being used in consumer goods and products to cut the costs of production, transport and disposal. Lightweight construction technologies also help us to manage scarce resources more carefully.