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5 Examples of Lightweighting

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Lightweighting is the process of making designs lighter by reducing material use, using lightweight materials and designing things to have strong hollow structures such as honeycombs. The following are common examples.


Weight is a significant consideration in the design of aircraft, cars and high speed trains. Strong, lightweight materials and designs can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of transportation. For example, modern aircraft use materials such as carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, glass-fiber reinforced plastic and quartz-fiber reinforced plastic to achieve strong, flexible, resilient and lightweight designs.


It costs somewhere around $10,000 per pound to put things into a low Earth orbit. As such, anything that goes into space is typically designed to be light.


In many categories of sporting equipment, the primary difference between high-end products and low-end products is weight and strength. For example, it is common for bicycles to use carbon fiber and composite materials.


Many of the materials that been developed for lightweight designs can also be used to make things safer as they have a high strength-to-weight ratio. For example, F1 racing helmets use carbon fiber and fiber-reinforced resin materials.


Reducing the weight of packaging can improve the efficiency of supply chains. Strong, lightweight materials can also improve the environmental footprint of products if they are reusable, recyclable and small relative to what they package.
Overview: Lightweighting
The process of making designs lighter.
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