Today, the cast cross car beam in magnesium can replace many single steel or aluminum sheet metal parts or aluminum profiles. The complex cast solution is developed, produced and tested by GF Casting Solutions. For manufacturers of light vehicles and commercial vehicles, the cross car beam offers maximum functional integration and a significant weight reduction while meeting all required properties.
Reduced weight 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 kilograms, 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.