Efficient determination and provision of material data for long fiber-reinforced SMC

21 September 2020 News AZL Admin

AZL workgroup kicks-off a project to establish a SMC database

The AZL Workgroup “High-Performance SMC” will kick-off a joint project for the efficient and standardized provision of engineering data for SMC. The project was developed in cooperation with M-Base, the IKV and the AZL partner network. Within the scope of the project, companies can participate in the definition of the required characteristic material data, the guidelines for the production of test specimens and the test specifications.

Sheet Molding Compounds (SMC) are used in various application areas such as vehicles, electronics, construction and infrastructure. Driven by the requirements to reduce the production costs of lightweight components, a new generation of SMC components with high mechanical properties is of highest relevance. SMC offers enormous potential to realize structural components with good lightweight characteristics at significantly reduced costs compared to conventional continuous fiber-reinforced components.
In order to further establish SMC in broad industrial applications, companies participating within the AZL Workgroup recognized the value of a database for data harmonization of SMC to provide the possibility of easily finding the right material with its characteristics for the needed specific requirements. Under the lead of M-Base, Dr. CEO Erwin Baur who has successfully established the CAMPUS database, the AZL, IKV and companies along the value chain of long fiber-reinforced SMC initiated to build a CAMPUS-compatible data structure and material characterization methodology during the High-Performance SMC Workgroup Meetings.

Dr. Timo Huber, Vice President Advanced Composite Technology Center ACTC, Hengrui Corp
“The right material for the specific application is indispensable to have the ability to produce with the highest standards, as Dr. Timo Huber from Hengrui Corporation assesses, “Our company Hengrui Corp. HRC is a global supplier of composite lightweight solutions to serve various markets like the automotive industry, which is our main sector, followed by transportation, aerospace and construction. In all sectors we are offering our services along the entire value chain, starting with engineering & part design, through R&D in terms of processing technologies and materials, to find the right combination for each application, and finally the production of composite components.”

“In this approach it is essential to have access to a material data base with comprehensive and reliable ma-terial characteristic values. Especially regarding SMC with its randomly distributed and partially inhomoge-neous fiber orientation and content, a SMC data base is necessary to exploit the full lightweight and perfor-mance potential of the material.”


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Daniel Bröder, Product Development, Polynt Composites Germany GmbH

As time, costs and effectivity are generally the most significant topics in production and the striven improvement of these factors is at all times present, the industry has already seen the need of development and new steps in the SMC field as Daniel Bröder from Polynt mentions: “The desire for more efficient development in terms of time, cost, more effective problem discussion and generally lower risk can only be met if component implementation can be simulated accordingly with the respective material.

With this aspect in mind and with the aim of highlighting the many advantageous material properties of fiber-reinforced thermosets and making them easily accessible to a wider mass of people, it is a necessary existential step for the industry”.


AZL workgroup

© AZL Aachen GmbH

Michael Kiesel from Siemens talks about focus points for SMC technology for interior components in Siemens Mobility at the High-Performance SMC Workgroup Meeting

Siemens also recognizes the possibilities offered by a database for SMC materials, which not only simplifies the existing selection process, but also promises to enable further applications, as Michael Kiesel notes:

“At Siemens we are already using SMC for the interior of high speed and commuter trains and with the use of the next generation of High-Performance SMC we believe we can even find additional semi-structural applications and further reduce the weight and have more flexibility in the overall design of our new interior parts.”

The AZL in cooperation with the IKV and its expertise in the field of simulation, processing and characterization of SMC, will develop a testing program to characterize the SMC materials within a Joint Partner Project with partners from industry.

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Andreas Horbach, Technical Service Manager, AOC Aliancys

The project, which will include testings on one of AOC Aliancy’s newly designed SMC test tools, is also an important step in the SMC market from Aliancy’s point of view as Andreas Horbach explains: ”The project initiated by the AZL, to determine from technical product data on commercially available SMC formulations, is an important action for the current but also for a potential future SMC market. With this data, SMC will be better comparable with other engineering plastics and advantages of SMC can be better illustrated.

This project will enable a push for the material SMC as soon as the technical data are read into the material database managed by M-Base.


Scope of the project

The project will define the appropriate material properties of commercially available SMC materials that can be used by stakeholders involved in the material selection. Furthermore, appropriate material parameters that enable a detailed material selection within the framework of the preliminary design are investigated. The process-dependent material parameters for the design of process and structure will also be discussed in the course of the project.

Additionally, the project addresses how the characteristic values can be used for process and structure simulation and which tests and production parameters provide significant, appropriate process-dependent material parameters at manageable costs.

During the soon-to-be started project, test specimens will be produced from three first representative materials selected by the consortium and the suitability of the proposed test procedure for the different materials will be assessed. The project will include the testing of the process-relevant and mechanical properties as well as the feasibility of the proposed test methods for the different materials.

Participating companies will have the possibility to co-define the project with their needs, requirements and requests for optimum value and will be able to work together with experts from the AZL’s and IKV’s research network to develop a solution for the subject.

Participants of the High-Performance SMC Workgroup Meeting in which AZL and IKV presented the project proposal. © AZL Aachen GmbH

The project is open to join.

We kindly invite you to participate in this valuable project. Please contact us for questions and more information on how to join the project:

Philipp Fröhlig, Senior Project Manager at AZL Aachen GmbH

 Phone: +49 241/ 475735-14


You can find the key facts to the project here.