The usage of aluminium on cars has been rather rife lately. Benefits of using the lightweight material are downright obvious. It does not only reduce the vehicle's weight which offers better fuel economy, but it also improves the vehicle's dynamics.
Engineers at Acura (Honda's luxury vehicle division) have come up with a new way of joining steel and aluminium. This new method is said to be a much simpler process compared to traditional methods.
The essential part of this new method is the "3D Lock Seam" structure. The steel and aluminium parts are layered and hemmed together twice and this prevents them from detaching. The new method also uses a special adhesive that completely fills any gaps which will prevent from any corrosion.
Acura has started using this new method on its 2014 RLX model (pictured above) which features aluminium panels welded to steel parts. This has helped to reduce around 17 percent of weight per door, compared to traditional welding methods.
Weight reduction on the outer part of the vehicle brings the point of gravity closer towards the centre of the vehicle which improves stability. The new method also reduces the need for spot welding processes.
This new joining process will eventually be used onto other models, including those in Honda's line-up.
Image credit: Honda/Acura
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