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GF Casting Solutions

Light Magnesium Component in the Cockpit

| Editor: Isabell Page

GF Casting Solutions has developed a complex casting solution that enables new benefits for cross car beams.

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( Source: GF Casting )

A cross car beam offers many advantages for manufacturers of light and commercial vehicles. For example, a cast magnesium cross car beam can replace many individual aluminum sheet parts or profiles. With a complex casting solution, GF Casting Solutions enables maximum functional integration and a significant weight reduction while simultaneously fulfilling all required properties.

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Weight Reduction and Optimized Functionality

The distinctive and structuring element, hidden behind the cockpit, is made of magnesium and therefore is extremely light. In comparison to aluminum, magnesium is about 37% lighter. During the casting process, it causes less abrasion on the HPDC die than aluminum leading to a longer lifetime. The weight reductions that are possible with the cross car beam by GF Casting Solutions are presentable: The light component today weighs between 4 and 6 kg, which is significantly less than a comparable aluminum or steel solution – at the same level of requirements and better functional integration. In comparison to the conventional solutions named above, the one-piece cast solution replaces up to 10 individual components. Further components inside the cockpit such as head-up display, air conditioning, ventilation channels, knee air bag, glove compartment and steering console are attached to the cross car beam before the final assembly. For the final assembly, it is simply screwed to a few attachment points like for example the A pillar and the center console.

Accordingly, the cast component, which belongs to the crash-relevant components of the vehicle, is quite complex. During the development process, the cast components are CAE-analyzed on stiffness, crash-performance and NVH by means of complex simulations. Moreover, thanks to the early application of casting simulations (FFES), the component is ready for the casting process at all design development levels.

For the validation of the simulation results and further requirements of the car manufacturers, GF Casting Solutions offers its own R&D lab at the headquarter in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Strong Development and Reliable Teamwork

At GF Casting Solutions, the successful collaboration is as high prioritized as high quality standards. During the development of a new component, cross-organizational teams including experts from the R&D department and the technical experts responsible for the production in the foundries – in this case in the die casting facility in Altenmarkt, Austria, work closely together.

Thanks to the gained experience with big structural parts made of magnesium, the experts at GF Casting Solutions are certain that it is possible to integrate even more components.

This article was first published by GF Casting Solutions.

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