Cadillac Says Structural Adhesive, Aluminum Key In ATS Weight, Noise Reduction

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Cadillac is touting its ATS’ “extensive use of aluminum” and structural adhesives for making the car both lighter and quieter in the cabin.

According to the official press release from Cadillac, the techniques contribute to better ride and handling and a cabin that is quieter than it otherwise would have been had the materials not been used.

For starters, the ATS uses 387 feet of structural adhesive– more than enough to span an entire football field– in both holding together and stiffening load-bearing components of the ATS chassis, the release said:

” The extensive use of adhesive provides a damping effect, which reduces the transmission of vibration through the body structure. That pays off in fewer squeaks and rattles reaching a driver.”

The adhesive has been carried over to other Caddy models, as well: Cadillac said the combination of this technique along with traditional joining techniques such as spot welding and the use of high-strength steels has helped make the larger CTS sedan 40% stiffer than the previous model.

In search of even more lightness and performance advantages, Cadillac’s use of aluminum has helped their cars shed weight, the release said:

To further improve performance, aluminum was used extensively to save weight.  For the first time, all four doors will be constructed of aluminum; cutting 55 pounds compared with the steel doors on the previous generation CTS. With a base curb weight of 3,600 lbs., CTS is the lightest vehicle in its class, roughly 200 pounds lighter than a comparable BMW 528i.

Cadillac CTS Program Engineering Manager John Plonka said, “Reducing overall weight is a key element in producing a car that delivers agile handling dynamics. By rethinking very traditional elements, such as such as materials used for bumpers and doors, we are able to save precious weight and stay true to delivering a vehicle that is fun to drive.”

Poundage shed from the CTS by using aluminum components include:
–13.1 pounds by replacing steel bumpers on the current generation CTS.
–14 pounds by making front strut towers of cast aluminum compared with steel used in current CTS.
–7.2 pounds from the instrument panel structure, where extruded and stamped aluminum replaced cast magnesium.
–36.5 pounds by using extruded and cast aluminum vs. a steel powertrain cradle on the current model.

The ATS, meanwhile, features “extensive use” of aluminum, including in its hood, suspension cradle, and engine cylinder heads. With perfect 50/50 weight distribution, Cadillac says the ATS is among the lightest vehicles in its class, tipping the scales at just 3,315 lbs.

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