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Lightweight Materials and Structures

Are you interested in developing your knowledge of the technologies available that will drive the automotive industry's agenda to reduce the weight of vehicles?


This MSc module introduces the key materials used in automotive manufacture: their properties, applications, environmental impact, and the methods by which they are processed.

What will you study?

The module will be delivered through lectures covering theory and practical examples, lab work, and group

Topics will include:

  • Introduction to materials
  • General materials properties and testing procedures
  • Use of metals (steels, aluminium, magnesium, titanium) that can be used in lightweight structures
  • Polymers and composites in lightweight automotive assemblies – both structural and non-structural
  • Natural lightweight materials – does nature do it better?
  • Current and future trends in automotive industry in lightweighting
  • Use of CAE and materials selection. Combination with LCA and assessment of environmental metrics.
  • Case studies of how industry has implemented lightweighting

On completion, as a successful participant you should
expect to be able to:

  • Understand the key characteristics of the materials of particular strategic importance to the premium vehicle sector
  • Perform semi-quantitative material and process selection using performance, financial, and life cycle criteria
  • Critically analyse the suitability of new materials and process for automotive applications