Home Markets Automotive Automotive, Racing and Commercial Vehicle Alloys and Technologies Saving Weight with Structural Components SAVING WEIGHT WITH STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS The use of advanced materials for automotive structures is crucial to meet stricter, mandatory regulations for fuel efficiency and lower emissions. SupremEX® Metal Matrix Composites (MMCs), which are made of high-strength aluminum alloys that are reinforced with nano-to-micron sized ceramic particles, offer a unique combination of properties that provide advantages in body in white (BIW) and other structural automotive applications, including chassis, suspension and braking components. They combine the lightweight properties of aluminum with outstanding strength and stiffness. With enhanced isotropic modulus and strength, SupremeEX composites can reduce chassis weight by 20 – 25 percent -- without sacrificing performance or rider safety. These MMCs offer excellent fatigue performance, the ability to withstand impact damage and improved damping of vibration which ensures good handling and a smoother ride. SupremEX products can be used to replace aluminum, titanium, steel, carbon fiber and other structural alloys and composites. LIGHTWEIGHT WITH HIGH STRENGTH & STIFFNESS While auto manufacturers have used aluminum extrusions and carbon fiber and other materials to save weight, SupremEX composites offer advantages over both types of materials. SupremEX composites are available in several grades with different metal to reinforcement ratios and combinations of physical and mechanical properties to meet application requirements. SUPREMEX 620XF EXTRUSIONS FOR BIW SupremEX 620XF is a conventional 6061B alloy that is reinforced with 20 percent ultra-fine (0.7 mm) SiC ceramic. This metal composite can be extruded into complex sections using standard precision extrusion facilities and tool steel dies. The high specific stiffness and strength of 620XF offers design advantages for BIW applications. Extruded sections made from SupremEX 620XF have a similar bending modulus to the equivalent titanium section combined with the weight of aluminum. By utilizing the improved stiffness of 620XF compared with conventional aluminum alloys it is possible to produce chassis with either improved torsional stiffness or reduced weight. SupremEX 620XF can be joined using a range of standard techniques including; cold metal transfer (CMT) welding, adhesive bonding, friction welding and rivets, self-piercing rivets (SPR), self-pierce & clinch (SPAC) nuts. SUPREMEX 225XE FOR SUSPENSION AND BRAKING COMPONENTS SupremEX 225XE is an AA2124A alloy reinforced with 25 percent ultra-fine (3.0 mm) SiC ceramic. Compared to conventional aluminum alloys, this material has high specific stiffness, dramatically improved wear properties and excellent fatigue properties at both room and elevated temperatures. For braking and suspension components the key advantages of 225XE include: Stiffness - allows for lightweight designs with high component stiffness. For suspension components this translates into a reduction of un-sprung mass which improves vehicle dynamics. For brake calipers the improved stiffness enhances breaking performance. Fatigue performance - allows for lightweight design and long part life at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal stability and strength – enhances caliper life and reduces the chance of distortion during aggressive use even after extended temperature exposure. Wear resistance and thermal expansion – provides exceptional wear resistance which is important for caliper piston bores. Also, the lower thermal expansion of the material reduces part and assembly distortion over brake operating temperatures. CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE ABOUT METAL MATRIX COMPOSITES We offer a range of metal matrix composites that offer oustanding mechanical and physical properties that cannot be achieved with conventional materials. Contact our composites experts.