Magna Develops Ultralight Door Module
Jan. 10, 2017—Magna International Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and partners FCA US and Grupo Antolin, announced at NAIAS that it has developed a new, ultralight door architecture that achieves the project objective of a 42.5 percent mass savings compared to an average current-production door.
Magna and its project partners presented this solution in an effort to help OEMs meet emissions standards and reduce fuel consumption through lightweighting. The concept door was developed in less than 10 months while keeping the cost within accepted industry parameters and provides a solution that applies to approximately 70 percent of the light vehicle market.
A key innovation associated with the development of the ultralight door includes integration of Magna's SmartLatch electronic latch system. This eliminated the need for mechanical hardware and enabled the development of a unique carrier module with integrated glass guides and lift capability of a lightweight hybrid glass laminate, an industry first.
The door-in-white assembly makes extensive use of aluminum, which achieves approximately half of the total mass reduction of the door assembly. Overall, the project makes use of materials readily available today that can easily be made using existing manufacturing processes.
The ultralight door development included intensive simulation efforts, passing all safety and durability testing in the process.
The company’s advanced engineering team combined its unique, full-vehicle perspective on the design of a driver's-side door with a mix of materials and technology to tackle the challenge of significant weight reduction.
The next steps include manufacturing full-scale prototype door assemblies, performance tests and safety tests to validate the design, with the goal of being available for use in production vehicles by the fall of 2020.