PAB was the lead participant in the Ultra-light Car Bodies (UlCab) project.

The aim of this project was to develop an enabling technology for significant reduction in carbon emissions from automobiles to help achieve pollution reduction in line with EU policy.

The UlCab project focused on reducing the weight of car body structures as these account for about 30% of overall car weight. The aim was to establish a proven manufacturing route for the manufacture of one-piece aluminium alloy sheet metal components that will be a cost-effective substitute for current steel parts.

Current use of aluminium alloy parts in car bodies cannot substitute directly for steel and are usually made of several relatively simple shapes attached to each other, which makes them expensive and does not achieve the weight reduction inherent with aluminium.

The outcome of the project was a success. Two techniques were combined in one process; tailor-welded blanks and HFQ. This combination of two innovative forming techniques new to aluminium alloy manufacture will enable sophisticated one-piece parts to be made and achieve weight saving of 50 to 60% compared with steel designs.

If you would like to find out how PAB can work with you on your project, please contact us.