Material and Process Design for Lightweight Structures
The use of lightweight structures across several industries has become inevitable in today’s world given the ever-rising demand for improved fuel economy and resource efficiency. In the automotive industry, composites, reinforced plastics, and lightweight materials, such as aluminum and magnesium are being adopted by many OEMs at increasing rates to reduce vehicle mass and develop efficient new lightweight designs. Automotive weight reduction with high-strength steel is also witnessing major ongoing efforts to design novel damage-controlled forming processes for a new generation of efficient, lightweight steel components. Although great progress has been made over the past decades in understanding the thermomechanical behavior of these materials, their extensive use as lightweight solutions is still limited due to numerous challenges that play a key role in cost competitiveness. Hence, significant research efforts are still required to fully understand the anisotropic material behavior, failure mechanisms, and, most importantly, the interplay between industrial processing, microstructure development, and the resulting properties. This Special Issue reprint book features concise reports on the current status in the field. The topics discussed herein include areas of manufacturing and processing technologies of materials for lightweight applications, innovative microstructure and process design concepts, and advanced characterization techniques combined with modeling of material’s behavior.