Joint R&D Projects

Together with the AZL Partner Companies, we regularly realize Joint Partner Projects on different lightweight research and development questions.

Benefits of Participants:

〉〉  Detailed, pre-competitive investigation of lightweight materials, systems or processes
〉〉  Cost-effective budget based on joint cost sharing
〉〉  Exclusive projects with AZL Partner Institutes and AZL Partner Companies

 

Starting and Running Projects in 2020:

Concept Study & Development of a Multi-material Battery Casing

The future of automotive drive systems is electric. In the foreseeable future, the number of electrically driven vehicles will outweigh the number of combustion engines. A key issue in the direct comparison of the technologies is the range in connection with energy storage and the integration of batteries in the various vehicle concepts through light and robust battery casings.

Multi-material concepts based on composites offer high potential to meet the various requirements for functionality and performance. Compared to “conventional” battery boxes for electric cars, which are mainly made of aluminum and steel, composite solutions offer, among other things, lower weight with higher stiffness. Corrosion resistance as well as impermeability to various fluids are also among the decisive advantages.

The project aims to give an overview about existing solutions, applications, supply chains and their players as well as market potential. The advantages of a multi-material approach are evaluated. In the end an exemplary multi-material battery casing will be developed and a production concept will be derived. After this project a follow-up project will address the realisation of this developed concept by manufacture of the multi-material battery housing which will be used as a demonstrator product in the future

Project Start: 17th September 2020

Project Duration: 8 months

Concept Study & Development of a multi-material Battery Casing Download the flyer with the key facts to the project

Contact us to join 

 

Harmonized data acquisition of SMC-properties for process and structural simulation in various
applications

The ongoing AZL workgroup “High-Performance SMC” investigates on the latest SMC technologies and provides a platform to exchange experiences. After the completion of a project for data collection and analysis from SMC-compounders, the demand for a harmonized database of SMC-properties emerged. Within the offered project, appropriate material properties of commercially available SMC materials that can be used by stakeholders involved in the material selection are discussed.

Within the project, the following questions should be answered:

  • What are appropriate material properties that can be used by stakeholders involved in the material selection (e.g. steel, aluminum, thermoplastics, composites)?
  • How are material selection processes made?
  • What information is required for this?
  • Who are the stakeholders involved in the material selection?
  • What are appropriate process-dependent material parameters that enable a detailed material selection within the framework of the preliminary design?
  • What are appropriate process-dependent material parameters for the design of process and structure?
  • How can the characteristic values be used for process and structure simulation?
  • Which tests and which detailed production parameters provide significant, appropriate process-dependent material parameters at manageable costs?

 

Appropriate material parameters that enable an efficient material selection within the preliminary design stage are investigated. Test specimens will be produced from three representative materials selected by the consortium. The project will include the testing of the process-relevant and mechanical properties as well as the evaluation and fine-tuning of the proposed test methods. The aim is the provision of a harmonized procedure to determine parameters for process simulation, test-plate manufacturing and process-dependent anisotropic material properties suitable for a more effective and reliable pre-design.

Project Start: September 22nd 2020

Project Duration: 6 months

Read our press release to the project

SMC-Characterisation - Harmonized Data Acquisition Download the flyer with the key facts to the project

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Elaboration of a pragmatic approach to apply Model-based System Engineering (MBSE) for automated structure and cost calculation of composite components

In our multi-material lightweight world, the ideal multi-material design is characterized by requirement-oriented use of the right materials, at the right place, in the correct form. This leads to multi-criteria optimization problems with regards to e.g. weight, costs or design. Therefore, a system approach has to consider all aspects of the product lifecycle.

In the state-of-the-art development process, complex systems are handled separately for each optimization criteria with many iterations between each step until the target is reached. Unlinked models solve domain-specific local optima without any fully linked system and without considering interdependencies between parameters.

Model based systems engineering – MBSE – enables complexity management in development processes. It allows the transition from today’s document-based, isolated optimization based on separated models to a parameter-controlled development process. Thus, the comprehensive multi-material lightweight design and its multi-modal and multi-criteria problems can be solved in one consistent system model.

The project aims at providing know-how for the implementation of MBSE to the specific requirements for the development of composite components by means of an exemplary application scenario, the assessment of the cost-benefit ratio as well as the necessary software and work processes for the implementation in the business.

MBSE is based on the standardized linking of required information and models of the entire production value chain. Therefore, all companies involved in the value chain benefit from the method if they want to use the method in the future or provide suitable models of their products for consideration in MBSE-based development processes.

Project Start:  1st October 2020

Project Duration: 12 months

Elaboration of a pragmatic approach to apply Model-based System Engineering (MBSE) for automated structure and cost calculation Download the flyer with the key facts to the project

Contact us to join >

 

Inductive Double Belt Press Follow-Up Project with Focus on Process Evaluations (Impregnation, Consolidation)

Within the Joint Partner Project “New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses” and the Follow-Up Project which was successfully accomplished in May 2019, a prototype machine of an Inductive Double Belt Press was developed, designed and built. The general machine concept has been validated.

This third project with the focus on process evaluations comprises an upgrade and optimization of the system for advanced material and processing studies and will include extensive material and processing studies for demonstration of wide applicability of a novel machine concept to identify which materials can be processed at which speeds, which requirements do exist using the material and which reproducibility can be achieved in impregnation and consolidation. It will also be examined how thermal process parameters influence the product quality and how the different pressure profiles enable different laminate types.

This project is open to join, for more information regarding questions and how to join please contact us directly.

Project Start: November 2019

Project Duration: 6 months

Download the flyer with the key facts on the Follow-up Project “Inductive Double Belt Press”

Contact us to join >

 

Ultra-Fast Manufacturing of Tailored Composite Blanks - Follow-Up

By implementing the prototype machine, the initial Joint Partner Project is completed. The partners decided already to continue the joint research with a follow-up project which comprises the prototype upgrade and optimization for advanced material and processing studies as well as extensive material and processing studies for demonstration of wide applicability of the novel machine concept in the industry.

This project is open to join for AZL Partners exclusively, for more information regarding questions and how to join please contact us directly.

Project Start: October 2018

Project Duration: 18 months

Contact us to join >

 

Latest Joint Partner Projects:

Completed: New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses - Follow-Up

A follow-up project started at the end of 2016 to progress on the developed double-belt press system with the aim to build an industry-scaled machine according to the pursued concepts. The final design phase of the novel double belt press machine system has already been reached. The optimization of the inductor homogeneity is currently in progress, so is the procurement of induction heating equipment. AZL is preparing a scale-up estimation regarding cost and energy consumption of the system.

Completed: New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses

Large-scale production of composite sheets can be achieved by a continuous production process using double-belt presses. Current machine designs however suffer from low energy efficiency as well as strong limitations concerning the product geometry flexibility.
In the first project phase, the AZL, together with six partner companies, developed a prototype for proof-of-principle of a novel cost and energy-efficient double-belt press system for the continuous production of composite sheets. A follow-up project will start at the end of 2016 to progress on the developed double-belt press system with the aim to build an industry-scaled machine according to the pursued concepts.

Completed: Thermoplastic Tapes – Material and Processing Benchmark
Thermoplastic Tape Within the first AZL Market and Technology Study, thermoplastic tapes have been identified as one key technology for future process chains for mass production of lightweight components.
The first one-year Joint Partner Project just ended realizing a benchmark of different tape materials and investigating the interactions of tape, processing and resulting laminate properties within the consortium. The AZL Partner Companies currently discuss follow-up activities addressing the correlation of morphology and mechanical properties of TP-FRP laminates.

 

Completed: Ultra-Fast Manufacturing of Tailored Composite Blanks

To increase resource-efficiency in the production of continuous fiber-reinforced plastics, the processing of scrap-optimized blanks with defined fiber alignment (“tailored composite blanks”) on basis of unidirectional semi-finished products (thermoplastic tapes, tow-pregs or dry-fibres) offers high potential compared to textile-based pre-products. Nonetheless, today’s production systems for the manufacturing of tailored composite blanks are limited in throughput per system.
The 18-month Joint Partner Project involves 12 Partner Companies from seven countries to develop a machine prototype for proving the feasibility of a novel manufacturing principle to produce tailored composite blanks in seconds at medium investment cost.

Completed: End-machining of Fiber-Reinforced Plastics
100_smc_9250

Source: © Fraunhofer IPT

Indicating the potential and the limitations of FRP end-machining operations is essential to shorten machining times, to allow high-quality edges without the need for cost-intensive manual re-work and to avoid process-related damage.
In this project proposal, technology benchmarking and feasibility studies of operations such as milling, shearing, water jet cutting, laser cutting are to be implemented with the aim of defining economically efficient FRP end-machining operations.

 

 

In addition to Joint Partner Projects, we offer project management for individual research and development project also to companies outside the AZL Partnership, or support you in finding the right partners for your ideas.

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