MultiMaK – Design and development of assessment tools for ecologically optimized multi-material automotive components for mass production

Motivation and problem

The multi-material construction technique is of great economic and technical interest for the automotive industry in order to develop components at low costs. With multi-material construction, metallic materials and FRP are combined. This new design requires far-reaching knowledge regarding FRP, including their joining and production technologies . However, the knowledge in the automobile industry is not yet availabe to the required extent or not developed far enough to be applicable to the specific problems. Furthermore, lightweight constructions in production often come along with increased environmental impacts, which need to be compensated for in the utilization phase through underconsumption. Generally, only a retrospective Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is made by considering the finished product, while taking into account ecological variables in the early phases of the product development is difficult due to a lack of decision support through appropriate software tools.

Project goals and contents

The developed decision support software tools in line with MultiMaK2 determine the characteristics of the components that need to be assessed (i.a. weight, stiffness, strenght, cost and LCA) based on analytical and empirical models. This already happens at the concept level in an early phase of the product development and for this reason enables a verified comparison between different component concepts based on key metrics. Considering the technological developments of parallel projects on the research campus Open Hybrid LabFactory as well as the impacts in different life cycle oriented usage scenarios, additional rules for product and process creation can be derived.

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