Trying It All Together
As we showed in HIBS I, weight reduction could be achieved in the body side structure by going to hydroform tubes that create compact sections that are not geometry-limited. This was validated by creating simple beam models for compact sections. HIBS II showed that there was more weight that could be taken out of the structure by exploiting the latest material grades, but not nearly what the initial change to a compact hydroform tube provided. In HIBS III, we talk about the theory behind the efficiency of the hydroform tubes, and use OEM data to justify these claims.
As can be seen from this paper and the ones before it, there are real opportunities to reduce the mass of a vehicle by creating better compression dominated structures. Ever higher material strength is only valuable if the geometry of the section can support it. Hydroform tubes are a good way to execute this geometry and can be readily integrated into the vehicle.