Cadillac increases use of structural adhesives and aluminum for lightweighting, performance and quietness
11 May 2013
Cadillac is making greater use of structural adhesives and aluminum to reduce overall weight of the ATS and CTS sedans, contributing to better ride and handling and reduced cabin noise in both models.
Structural adhesives, which can bond dissimilar substrates including aluminum, magnesium, and composites, are seeing greater use in both passenger and commercial vehicle markets. The new CTS uses 387 feet (118 meters) of structural adhesive as a bonding agent that holds together and stiffens load-bearing parts and components. The extensive use of adhesive provides a damping effect, which reduces the transmission of vibration through the body structure.
The heavy-duty material, along with traditional metal joining processes such as spot welding, also makes a stiffer, more durable joint. These advanced techniques, in addition to the use of high-strength steels and efficient geometry helps make the new CTS sedan 40% stiffer than the previous model.
|Cadillac use of structural adhesive and aluminum. Click to enlarge.|
To further improve performance, aluminum was used extensively to save weight. For the first time, all four doors will be constructed of aluminum, cutting 55 pounds (25 kg) compared with the steel doors on the previous generation CTS. With a base curb weight of 3,600 lbs. (1,633 kg), CTS is the lightest vehicle in its class, roughly 200 pounds (91 kg) lighter than a comparable BMW 528i.
Other aluminum contributions to weight savings:
13.1 pounds (5.9 kg) by replacing steel bumpers on the current generation CTS.
14 pounds (6.4 kg) by making front strut towers of cast aluminum compared with steel used in current CTS.
7.2 pounds (3.3 kg) from the instrument panel structure, where extruded and stamped aluminum replaced cast magnesium.
36.5 pounds (16.6 kg) by using extruded and cast aluminum vs. a steel powertrain cradle on the current model.
Strategic use of aluminum is also an integral component of the ATS luxury sport sedan, which shares architecture with the new CTS sedan. At 3,315 lbs. (1,504 kg), ATS is among the lightest vehicles in its class.
The ATS powertrain features extensive use of aluminum, which not only helps cut weight but also contributes to the car’s nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution for improved driving dynamics. The ATS also has an aluminum hood, suspension cradle and cylinder heads.
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