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#222 Weight Reduction Techniques - 2: Overview of Weight Reduction Techniques

Category : Low-cost automation and materials
February 5, 2016

Weight-reduction techniques are of particularly necessity for fast-moving machines.

*In the aerospace industry, high-strength and high-reliability materials are extremely important, and there has been a shift towards using CFRP composite materials as a replacement for lightweight metals such as Duralumin.
*The same materials used for airplane bodies are adopted for F1 racing car bodies.
*The arm parts of electronic packing machines and conveyance robots are examples of their use in high-speed drive units.

Weight-reduction techniques by material substitution are applied to the above case examples.

(1)Weight reduction by material substitution

To make a product lightweight by material substitution, the following technical requirements must be satisfied at the same time:


(2)Material design to guarantee strength after material substitution
  • For material substitution from a metal to a resin, adopt a composite structure in order to reduce weight while achieving the guaranteed strength.
  • The "CFRP" in CFRP composite materials is an abbreviation of "Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics."
  • Carbonize the fiber and adopt it to the structural member inside the resin. The fiber continuum and adhesive strength of the resin will make the material lightweight and shatter-proof.

[Fig.] Carbon fiber and molding

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


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