Increased use of lightweight metal can help improve fuel economy, performance
2012-09-24 DETROIT – General Motors Research & Development has invented an industry-first aluminum welding technology expected to enable more use of the lightweight metal on future vehicles, which can help improve fuel economy and driving performance.
GM’s new resistance spot welding process uses a patented multi-ring domed electrode that does what smooth electrodes are unreliable at doing – welding aluminum to aluminum. By using this process GM expects to eliminate nearly two pounds of rivets from aluminum body parts such as hoods, liftgates and doors.
GM already uses this patented process on the hood of the Cadillac CTS-V and the liftgate of the hybrid versions of Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. GM plans to use this technology more extensively starting in 2013.