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.
This may be the very first step towards a one tonne electrified future (same size) Cadillac?
Posted by: HarveyD | 11 May 2013 at 09:40 AM
Resistance to lighter vehicles will be strong, specially from Hummer type 3+ton tanks on wheels supporters.
However, common sense will prevail. One tonne vehicles will progressively replace two and three+ tonne units.
Reducing weight by up to 50% per passenger seat (for cars, small trucks, trains, airplanes) is one of the easy way to reduce energy consumption while retaining all the comfort we're used too. To use a 4000+ lbs car to transport one passenger from A to B is shameful overkill.
Posted by: HarveyD | 11 May 2013 at 10:16 AM
At 3,315 lbs. (1,504 kg), ATS is among the lightest vehicles in its class.
The ATS ... 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.
Posted by: SJC | 11 May 2013 at 12:00 PM
Aluminum aircraft flew during World War I.
The British Mosquito, most versatile aircraft of World War II - counting as TWO aircraft in German fighter ace tallies - was assembled from adhesives and wood.
Automotive progress is stunning.
Posted by: kelly | 11 May 2013 at 02:25 PM
If weight reduction is the goal, why not start by replacing the lead acid battery by a much lighter lithium ion battery? If Boeing finally found a suitable solution, so can every car company.
Posted by: Freddy Torres | 12 May 2013 at 03:28 AM
Exactly what I've been wondering. What an easy place to cut 20lbs and lower the center of gravity.
Posted by: DaveD | 12 May 2013 at 12:11 PM
Yes, using 48V, higher performance batteries, instead of heavy 12V Lead type, could reduce cable and many e-ancillaries size and weigh and allow easy stop-start to be incorporated.
Why wasn't it done years ago?
Posted by: HarveyD | 12 May 2013 at 03:59 PM