|Honda recently released information about its newly developed technology in the form of a light outer door panel that comprises a combination of steel and aluminium.|
Honda Acura RLX, first to adopt new technology
Honda will adopt the steel/aluminium door panel first to the North American version of the all-new Acura RLX, which will go on sale in the United States in March 2013, and will expand application sequentially to other models.
Over the past year, Honda has been on a quest to reduce the vehicle’s kerb weight, and more recently the 2013 Honda Accord became the first mass-production variant to incorporate a front subframe with the steel-aluminum hybrid structure that was made possible by the Friction Stir Welding (FSW) technology.
To join together the dissimilar metals of steel and aluminum, the simultaneous establishment of several different technologies was required such as technologies to prevent corrosion (electrical corrosion) and thermal deformation caused by the different expansion rates of steel and aluminum.
More specifically, Honda newly developed three technologies that enabled adoption of aluminum for the outer door panel consist of; Technology to join dissimilar materials, Technology to prevent electrical corrosion, and Technology to control thermal deformation.
When implemented, the 17-percent lighter and more versatile door panel is said to provide an improvement of fuel economy and dynamic performance of the vehicle, as compared to the conventional all-steel door panel. In addition, weight reduction at the outer side of the vehicle body enables to concentrate the point of gravity toward the center of the vehicle, contributing to improved stability in vehicle maneuvering.