Thermoplastic, roll-formed profiles in hybrid construction

Motivation and problem

Car body constructions with structural, metallic profiles achieve enormous savings in weight (space-frame-technology), but face their limits due to their material density. FRP unfold their extremely high specific stiffnesses and strenghts especially at stress in the longitudinal direction of the fibers. Disadvantages for automobile mass production in the first instance are the low degree of automation as well as high costs of material. Further restrictions are complex joining technologies and a low damage tolerance towards impact stresses. A widespread use of FRP in automobile production only is achievable through a high degree of automation as well as a material- and production-suitable design . Until now neither the whole potential of leightweight contruction is used to its full extent, nor can the FRP components be produced at competitive costs. Thermoplastic synthetics as matrices are preferred due to their short process times, comparably low costs, weldability, subsequent formability, chemical constancy and impact strength. The combination of the materials carbon fibers, thermoplast and metal into one hybrid material is a potential approach, as the particular advantages of all materials can be used in the hybrid. These fiber composite-metal-hybrid components with thermoplastic matrix are the object of investigation in the project TRoPHy2.

Project goals and contents

In the project TRoPHy2 a pilot plant is developed, constructed and analyzed, in which metal profiles with carbon fibers and a thermoplastic matrix are combined into a hybrid profile. The necessary manufacturing processes are being investigated and validated. At the end of the project, a structure-mechanically optimized, hybrid structure component shall be produced in the plant, which maps the saving potentials of hybrid materials.

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