Improving performance or stiffness of the car body

SikaReinforcer® (SR) can be used for structural reinforcement of cavities and for crash reinforcing. The latter’s aim is to absorb the impact energy or redistribute it in an optimum way in the car structure. The former aims to improve the crash performance or the stiffness of the car body, by adding a structural component that creates a rigid assembly with panels or eventual support.

This way sheet metal thickness will be reduced and steel reinforcement plates are unnecessary. It is a contribution to reduce the weight of vehicle and may also avoid creation of vibrations and thus noise and fatigue cracks in the structure.

Weight savings trough SR technology

An analysis was made of the potential gains during the use phase by using SR technology instead of the steel benchmark. The gains from using SR technology arise mainly from the weight savings, as these leads to a lower fuel consumption. Additionally, the installation of the components in the car was considered, as the steel part needs to be welded, while the SR needn’t.

The carbon footprint of the raw materials was calculated (5 kg steel vs. 2 kg SikaReinforcer®), and of the welding of the steel component, as well as the avoided carbon emissions due to lower fuel consumption during the vehicle’s typical lifetime (approximately 150,000 km).

Results and conclusion

To illustrate the gains from using the SikaReinforcer® (SR) instead of steel, the impacts (from the raw materials and the welding of the steel part) are shown, as well as the avoided carbon emissions due to the lower weight of the SR component. Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the potential contribution to Climate Change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO₂), which enhance the heat radiation absorption of the atmosphere, causing the temperature at the earth’s surface to rise.

Global Warming Potential (GWP) [kg CO2 - eq.]
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Global Warming Potential (GWP) [kg CO₂-eq.]

In terms of GWP, even though the materials from the SR component seem to have more carbon emissions, the total gains from the obtained weight reduction during the use phase, are clearly demonstrated. The net gain from using the Sika solution compared to the steel solution amounts to 19 kg CO₂ per vehicle.