Electric vehicles are fuelling the growth of the chassis and frame markets. With EV sales up by 55% in 2022 in comparison to the previous year, OEMs and automotive manufacturers are catering to an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer market. The last couple of years have also seen an increase in popularity of SUVs, especially electric ones, leaving manufacturers with a wide range of design requirements to satisfy.
Automotive chassis and frames provide the foundation for the whole vehicle, and work to counter static and dynamic loads and forces acting on the car. It’s crucial, then, that these key components are fastened together with reliable, durable parts. In the case of electric vehicles, chassis and frames may also require bespoke and engineered fastening solutions to maintain and enhance vehicle performance and passenger safety.
Optimas’ UK manufacturing division, Barton Cold-Form, specialises in producing standard, bespoke and licensed fasteners for chassis and frames. Manufactured using cold-forming, a highly repeatable production process, Barton’s fasteners are ideally suited to chassis and frames for EVs, prioritising these key elements:
Strength & Durability
- Cold-forming maximises a material’s metallurgical properties and structural integrity, prioritising a part’s strength and durability. Fasteners need to meet high tolerance and vibration demands, bearing loads between 65-90% of their yield strength so they don’t loosen in their application, or worse, break. Because of the way they are manufactured, Barton’s chassis fasteners ensure a very high level of safety and reliability for all cars by guaranteeing the integrity of the vehicle’s main structure.
- Chassis and frame manufacturing is only becoming more advanced in the face of electric technologies. As EVs tend to be much heavier than their petrol or diesel counterparts due to their batteries, using lightweight materials at every opportunity is crucial to lessen emission and heighten vehicle performance. Barton has the capability to produce chassis fasteners in a wide range of lightweight materials, including aluminium, to contribute to improved vehicle acceleration and fuel efficiency.
- Chassis and frames make up a large external portion of a vehicle, and often encounter moisture, cleaning chemicals and salt from gritted roads. The fasteners that hold this structure together therefore need to be highly corrosion resistant. Alongside providing excellent yield strength, aluminium is highly corrosion resistant, so it is well suited for all automotive and EV applications.
Improved Battery life
- Using lightweight chassis fasteners can also achieve improved battery life. Lighter vehicles place significantly less strain on an EV battery, allowing for heightened vehicle range and enhanced vehicle performance.
Thermal Conductivity and Insulation
- Electric vehicles can generate a significant amount of heat during operations. If the vehicle’s fasteners and components aren’t optimised for use, this heat can transfer to critical components, risking low battery life and poor vehicle performance. Aluminium fasteners in particular can effectively transfer heat away from critical components, maintaining optimal operating temperatures and prolonging the lifespan of various vehicle systems.
- Whether an EV, diesel or petrol vehicle, lighter vehicles require considerably less energy to operate, leading to increased energy efficiency and lowered emissions. In any automotive build, incorporating aluminium, titanium or magnesium fasteners allows manufacturers to optimise their vehicles for better energy consumption, ultimately enhancing the overall sustainability of the vehicle.
- Evidently the popularity of electric vehicles and electric SUVs is driven by their eco-friendliness, so it’s important OEMs source their fasteners from an eco-friendly manufacturer. Barton Cold Form has a firm and tangible commitment to sustainability.
- Before a part is manufactured, any additive waste produced by prototyping is recycled. As Barton’s parts are formed in their near-net state, cold-forming is also a highly sustainable production process, resulting in very minimal material waste. Barton’s plant is also fully powered by renewable energy.
- The team at Barton have recently embarked on a tree planting campaign, through which the business will donate funds to the National Forest.
Contributing to safety, durability and improved vehicle performance, Barton’s fasteners offer chassis and frame manufacturers a reliable fixing solution for all automotive applications, all while prioritising sustainability. Get in touch with our experts to optimise your products.