Aluminum Intensive Ultralight Automotive Door Structure




Abstract: The Ultralight Door Project developed by Magna International, FCA US LLC, Grupo Antolin and Corning is a result of a US Department of Energy project DE-EE0007306. The project is opening new doors to light weighting by demonstrating an innovative lightweight car door solution which includes functional integration of the door structure, door module, latch, glass and interior trim subsystems. The door system achieves a 15.5kg mass reduction associated with a driver’s side door, while maintaining performance, occupant safety and functionality of the baseline 2017 production vehicle. Production intent prototype doors have been manufactured and limited full vehicle and component level testing is being conducted by FCA. The Ultralight driver’s side door, comprised of commercially available materials and production processes, realized a 15.5kg (40%) mass reduction. When applied to a 4-door vehicle, with a proportionally downsized engine, an estimated 50kg full vehicle mass reduction will be realized, resulting in an 8 gram/mile reduction in CO2. The higher cost associated with lightweight materials is offset by the design-enabled procurement of DIW and Door Module subassemblies resulting in a significant reduction in assembly labor and floor space requirements. The estimated incremental cost associated with the Ultralight Door is $2.59 per pound saved.

Authors: Randy Beals, Miguel Merino, Tim Reaburn, Mari Chellman, and Tim Skszek

Keywords: Automotive Door, Aluminum, Lightweight

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8 pages