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NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting

Our objective is to develop the measurement methodology, standards and analysis necessary for the U.S. auto industry and base metal suppliers to transition to advanced lightweight materials for auto body components without wasteful trial-and-error development cycles, and successfully transfer this technology to our customers in industry.

NIST researcher Adam Creuzinger in the NCAL
Credit: © Robert Rathe

With this knowledge, the U.S. automotive industry will be able to transition to new advanced and lightweight materials more easily, as more accurate data and material models will lead to more accurate die designs, reducing die tryouts and new model development costs. 

The use of lightweight materials in vehicles will significantly increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions, but the auto industry lacks data and material models needed to reliably manufacture vehicle components from lightweight substitutes, including aluminum alloys, high-strength steels and polymer composites. Because of computer models based on insufficient measurements, the U.S. auto industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year reworking metal forming dies that do not make correct parts.

We welcome ideas for collaborations with industrial, academic and national lab organizations that make use of our unique experimental capabilities.

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