Marelli, a company born last year from the merger between the Italian Magneti Marelli and the Japanese Calsonic Kansei, received the Altair Enlighten Award 2020 for the development of a wheel post in composite material made with a new compression molding technique (Advanced Sheet Molding Compression, ASMC).
“Enlighten Award” was created in 2013 with the aim of rewarding the best innovations in the world aimed at reducing the weight of vehicles. The weight reduction of vehicles is the primary objective of manufacturers because when the car is lighter, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced.
The award ceremony took place online on August 4. It was part of CAR’s “Management Briefing Seminars”, an event dedicated to the theme of the future of the global automotive industry. Marelli was awarded by Altair, a company specializing in technology, and by the Center for Automotive Research.
Future of Lightweighting Winner
Marelli was awarded in the “Future of Lightweighting” category, innovative solutions not yet in production, for research conducted by the Ride Dynamics division, which deals with the design, engineering and production of shock absorbers and suspension components.
The wheel upright is a joint that holds the wheel into position, connected to the suspension and steering components. It was made of a composite (SMC) reinforced with chopped carbon fiber using ASMC technology. Advanced Sheet Molding Compression is a high-pressure molding recommended for the mass production of complex materials with high mechanical resistance.
This particular fiber has the same strength as the original carbon fiber. Add to this, greater strength and a weight of less than 25% of aluminum and 50% of cast iron. These characteristics make this material suitable for the production processes of the automotive industry.
The Magneti Marelli team has done countless tests
Many analyzes and validation processes have been completed, in order to guarantee the feasibility of the wheel upright, up to the creation of prototypes.
Antonio Ferrara, CEO of Marelli’s Ride Dynamics Business Unit, declared: “It is an honor to receive the Altair Enlighten Award 2020 and we want to thank the jury for appreciating our innovative solution“. Through extensive testing and analysis, our team has shown that it is possible to achieve significant weight reductions without compromising the objectives set in terms of costs, performance, and volumes”.
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