Engine Body

The body of an automobile is categorized according to the number of doors, the arrangement of seats, and the roof structure. Their roofs are conventionally supported by pillars on each side of the body in recent times, there are convertible models with retractable fabric tops that rely on the pillar at the side of the windshield for upper body strength, as convertible mechanisms and glass areas are essentially nonstructural. The glass areas have been increased for improved visibility and for aesthetic reasons. New designs are usually programmed on three- to six-year cycles with generally minor refinements appearing during the cycle.

Redesigning was a tough job in the past, when as much as four years of planning and new tool purchasing was needed for a completely new design. Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) techniques may now be used to reduce this time requirement by 50 percent or more.

Sheet steel is generally used to make automotive bodies. Elements are added to the alloy to improve its ability to be formed into deeper depressions without wrinkling or tearing in manufacturing presses. Steel is used because of its general availability, low cost, and good workability. Other materials for certain other materials are also used. Other materials, such as aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber reinforced plastic are used because of their special properties.

For more toughness and resistance to brittle deformation, Polyamide, polyester, polystyrene, polypropylene, and ethylene plastics have been formulated. Tooling for plastic components generally costs less and requires less time to develop than that for steel components.

Painting and priming processes are used to protect bodies from corrosive elements and to maintain their strength and appearance. Bodies are first dipped in cleaning baths to remove oil and other foreign matter and then they go through a succession of dip and spray cycles. Enamel and acrylic lacquer are both in common use.

Electro deposition of the sprayed paint, a process in which the paint spray is given an electrostatic charge and then attracted to the surface by a high voltage, helps assure that an even coat is applied and that hard-to-reach areas are covered. To speed up the drying process in the factories, ovens with conveyer lines are used. In those body areas that are more susceptible to corrode, galvanized steel with a protective zinc coating and corrosion-resistant stainless steel are used