Body in white
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Body in white (BIW) is the stage in automobile manufacturing in which a car body's frame has been joined together, that is before painting and before the motor, chassis sub-assemblies, or trim (glass, door locks/handles, seats, upholstery, electronics, etc.) have been integrated into the structure. Assembly involves different techniques such as welding (spot, MIG/MAG), riveting, clinching, bonding and laser brazing.
The term derives from manufacturing practices before steel unibody monocoques — when automobile bodies were made by outside firms on a separate chassis with an engine, suspension, and bumpers attached. The manufacturers built or purchased wooden bodies (with thin, non-structural metal sheets on the outside) to bolt onto the frame. The bodies were painted white prior to the final color.[according to whom?]
A folk etymology for "body in white" is the appearance of a car body after it is dipped into a white bath of primer (undercoat paint)— despite the primer's actual gray color. BIW could also refer to when car bodywork would be made of timber - all timber products, furniture, etc., are considered to be "in the white" when at the stage of raw timber before finishing or varnishing.[original research?]
In car design, the "body in white"[inconsistent] phase is where the final contours of the car body are worked out, in preparation for the ordering of the expensive production stamping die. Extensive computer simulations of crash-worthiness, manufacturability, and automotive aerodynamics are required before a clay model from the design studio can be converted into a body in white ready for production.
A related term in the automotive industry is "body in black". This can refer to a car body that is formed of alternate materials such as composites rather than conventional metal; these composite materials, such as carbon fiber, are black rather than white. "Body in black" can also refer to a step in the design process in which a mock-up of a new car skin is built, in order to perform exacting measurements during the design and pre-production processes.
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This image is from Suzuki Motor Corp vehicle that was displayed in the Australian Motor Show in 2010.