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Low Cost Automation Tutorial

#221 Weight Reduction Techniques - 1

Category : Low-cost automation and materials
January22, 2016

In response to concerns about global warming and depletion of subterranean resources such as petroleum oil, the automobile industry is rapidly shifting from gasoline-based cars to hybrid and electric cars. As a CO2 emissions-reduction measure, many countries are competing to make solar power or wind power generation fit for practical use as a source of energy.

Weight-reduction techniques are one of the most important technological innovations in the midst of this competition. This section explains weight-reduction techniques.

(1) Purpose of weight-reduction techniques
  • The purpose of adopting weight-reduction techniques is to save energy consumption by reducing the weight of a moving body.


(1)Substitute an automobile body made of steel with one made of aluminum alloy to reduce weight ([Fig.1])
(2)Reduce the weight of bullet train cars by adopting aluminum alloy materials
(3)Reduce the weight of an airplane by increasing the ratio of CFRP composite materials

[Fig.1] Welding example of aluminum alloy

  • Adopting weight-reduction technologies is becoming more important in the field of automation devices and mechanical devices for the same purpose.

(4)Substitute the metal stock with resin material to reduce the weight of a movable body
(5)Substitute the steel material of the device column portion with resin composite, concrete composite, or ceramic materials
(6)Adopt a slim or hollow design for the component parts, such as linear slide guides, or reduce the weight by material substitution

(2)Overview and agenda of weight-reduction techniques
Weight-reduction techniquesExamples of weight-reduction techniquesDevelopment agenda
1)Material substitutiona)Metal→Lightweight metalBonding technology
b)Metal→ResinStrength, reliability, forming technology
c)Metal/others→Composite materialSame as above
2)Shape modification of structural memberd)Lightening, hollow architectureStrength, noise
e)Shape alterationReliability in the load/stress direction