W8SVR’s lightweight potential meets automotive applications – Excellent draping and processing behavior as well as high performance in Fiber-Metal-Laminates | #20 | Huesker
In many industries, alternative and high-performance lightweight materials are being sought due to necessary weight reduction, metal material shortages and growing sustainability concerns. The W8SVR® production methods and material portfolio offer a wide range of thermoplastic tailored composites to meet these needs. Engineers and designers achieve stronger, safer and more durable lightweight products to shape the lightweight design of the future.
With this material approach, great results were again achieved in two current automotive projects.
Forming W8SVR® Woven into a side door beam with convincing results
In close cooperation with the National Research Council (NRC) in Canada, the excellent formability of W8SVR® Neolaminates was once again proven. In a classic forming process of the automotive industry, which realizes particularly short cycle times, W8SVR® Woven PP-GF Neolaminates were formed into a side door beam. The entanglements in the W8SVR® fabric ensure that the fiber alignment remains straight despite challenging radii, so that the part performance remains consistently high. David Trudel-Boucher (NRC) summarizes the results of the demonstrator production as follows: “The forming results are very good. I think W8SVR® offers an additional advantage for producing complex geometries and to achieve a good surface finish on formed composite parts. This is certainly also of interest for other applications with high demands on formability.”
© HUESKER | Pic.1: W8SVR® Woven side door beam (coop. National Research Council (NRC), Canada)
W8SVR® fiber-metal-laminate exhibits higher mechanical properties than steel
In a second recent project with the Chair of Automotive Lightweight Design (LiA) in Paderborn, W8SVR® Woven was used for a multi-material design of a battery case frame. In addition to its excellent processing behavior, a significant increase in bending strength and stiffness, compared to weight equivalent steel, was achieved.
The case of a lithium-ion battery in electric vehicles protects the cells during crash, preventing them from being damaged. The case consists of a lower and upper shell and an outer battery frame with crash structures. The materials used in conventional designs are aluminum or steel. High demands on structural properties and functionality, low mass and cost-effective manufacturing processes play a major role in the development and are the subject of current research.
A new approach is to use fiber-metal-laminates especially for the frame of the battery case and benefit from their high mechanical properties to reduce the overall weight of an electric vehicle and increase its performance. The manufacturing process for the crash structure of the frame is based on forming two U-profiles, which are connected by hybrid joining to form a beam with a closed cross-section. Similar joining strategies are used to connect different cross members as well as the lower and upper shells to form the complete case.
To evaluate the lightweight potential of fiber-metal laminates for automotive battery cases, a side pole crash is experimentally modelled by three-point bending on a longitudinal beam of the battery case. The conventional steel structure is compared to an innovative approach with a laminate out of steel and W8SVR® Woven Neolaminates. To investigate the deformation and failure mechanisms, the test is measured optically using digital image correlation. The mechanical properties of the new approach show promising results. The weight-equivalent fiber-metal-laminate shows approximately three times higher stiffness and strength, compared to the steel reference. Thus, the multi-material-design provides high lightweight potentials for automotive battery cases that can be very beneficial for new BEV concepts.
© HUESKER | Pic.2: Fiber-Metal-Laminates with W8SVR® Woven – Battery case frame (coop. Chair of Automotive Lightweight Design (LiA), Paderborn/Germany)
For further technical information on the materials or an initial exchange on applications, please contact us directly.