Advisor

Patton, Richard D.

Committee Member

Daniewicz, Steven R.

Committee Member

Jones, E. William

Date of Degree

1-1-2002

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Engineering

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

The benefits of lighter auto bodies are discussed, and aluminum is compared to steel as an alternative material for auto body construction. The concept of a structural index, lambda, is developed using the simple example of a hollow beam of wall thickness, t, with a cantilever load case. It is shown that the bending stiffness, K, of the beam can be defined as a function of t^lambda, that 1 < lambda < 3, and that lambda can be used to predict the weight savings from material substitution where stiffness is held constant. It is then demonstrated that lambda can be used to predict the weight savings from material substitution in the more complex cases of the joints of a light truck cab.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/19285

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