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 2021:

Battery Casing Follow Up: Foreign Object Penetration Resistance of Composite

The purpose of this project is to develop a simple drop tower set up for oblique foreign object penetration impact testing. Different materials, monolithic and sandwiches and material combinations, are compared on equal safety level and suitability for battery casing.

Results:

  • An application relevant test method for penetration damage to bottom materials for battery casings.
  • Relative safety performance of different material options, such as solid laminates, sandwiches, different thicknesses and layups, in comparison with aluminum reference material.
  • For each material it will give guidance what minimum amount is needed to prevent penetration or unacceptable damage.

For more information, please contact Philipp Fröhlig

Mail: philipp.froehlig@azl-aachen-gmbh.de
Telefon: +49 241 475735 14

Battery Casing Follow Up: Fire Protection Application Relevant Fire Test Procedure for Composites

The purpose of this project is to develop of a fire testing procedure for materials and material forms, enabling the evaluation of suitability for the EV battery casing.

Results:

  • A standard test method enabling suitability of various materials for fire safe application in a battery casing.
  • Comparison of relative performance of various materials and/or protection layers.
  • Guidance to minimum material needs to survive battery fire testing.

For more information, please contact Philipp Fröhlig

Mail: philipp.froehlig@azl-aachen-gmbh.de
Telefon: +49 241 475735 14

LCA supporting Consulting for Vehicle Applications Analysis of Production Cost and Eco KPIs for

Automotive Components

AZL has teamed up together with Conbility GmbH and fka GmbH to offer you support in LCA consulting as a new individual service in finding the right material while maintaining a reasonable environmental impact.

From Component Definition and Design as well as Mechanical Analysis to Costs and Sustainability Indicators of Manufacturing and Life Cycle Assessment the three companies will cover all aspects to analyze your case.

4 service modules for LCA-supporting consulting – to be combined or to be used 1-by-1

The first module “Component Definition and Design Analysis” will be used to, based on the reference component, choose suitable materials, create a structural layout and define concepts for the component and the production.

Within the module 2 “Mechanical Analysis” the component concept is analysed regarding its main load-cases. This analysis is used to optimize the structure and determine the material quantity which needs to be used and thus the weight of the part.

In Module 3 “Manufacturing Costs and Sustainability Indicators” the production scenario is modelled and the production costs are assessed. Sustainability factors (e.g. CO2 equivalent) are calculated in a pragmatic approach to have first indications.

The Module 4 is used to assess the GWP in all steps like productions, use, end-of-life. Different scenarios e.g. drive train configuration or mileage can be defined. Subsequently a comparative analysis of the layout and assessment of state-of-the-art concepts and new concepts are done and the ecological performance is compared.

For more information on the service please get in touch with:

Alexander Knauff
Manager Industrial Services | AZL Aachen GmbH
Phone: +49 241 475 735 16
Mobile: +49 177 283 5184
Email: alexander.knauff@azl-aachen-gmbh.de

Concept Study Composites in Future Automotive Interior Applications Considering Design, Structure

and Functional Requirements

Besides the well-known battery casings providing a source of weight saving, the interior of an automotive bears high potential for the usage of composites. Different designs to achieve structural support or multi functionalities of parts are necessary and subsequently contribute to reducing weight.

At the AZL Annual Partner Meeting in June 2021, a new project was proposed and discussed to investigate the influence of factors like design, structure, functionalities and sustainability for different automotive interior concepts.

Starting with a market and technology screening, requirements and high potential applications and components are identified. Multiple concepts with different material combinations are designed and analyzed. At the end, process scenarios are defined as well as economic aspects and ecological impact will be evaluated.

The project is to be kicked-off end of 2021 and is carried out by a project team consisting of experts from fka GmbH – especially from the interior team – together with Conbilty GmbH and AZL Aachen GmbH.

For more information, please contact Philipp Fröhlig

Mail: philipp.froehlig@azl-aachen-gmbh.de
Telefon: +49 241 475735 14

Bio Based Composite Car Door

Based on the completed study “Potentials for Bio-based Composites” AZL is starting a joint project on the further investigation of bio-based composite materials, including the development of a car door.

In the previous AZL study on this topic the focus was more so on flax fiber. Building on this study and including the outcome, AZL is now looking onto other alternative natural fibers, evaluating suitable materials (bio-based, conventional and combinations) and investigating the challenges to gain a market advantage.

The project will also include the definition of a demonstrator part and material trials looking into combining different natural fibers with bio-based polymer as well as the optimization of the tape placement using in house machines.

Furthermore, the consortium and AZL will set up a process chain for series production to produce the demonstrator part and as a last step analyze the process chain regarding ecological and economical aspects.

The project is open to join.

If you are interested and would like to receive more information, please get in touch with Alexander Knauff:

Alexander Knauff
Manager Industrial Services | AZL Aachen GmbH
Phone: +49 241 475 735 16
Mobile: +49 177 283 5184
Email: alexander.knauff@azl-aachen-gmbh.de

Ultra Fast Manufacturing of Tailored Composite Blanks III

In a third stage of AZL’s project of the machine-development of 5-seconds fully consolidated multi-layer composite laminate production, additional heating elements will be investigated and subsequently added.

The “Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine” for the production of tailormade laser-assisted in-situ consolidated TP-FRP laminates within cycle times of less than 5 seconds was build up from white paper by AZL in close cooperation with industrial partners.

In the July starting third stage of the project the improvement of the thermal management is focused in order to exploit the high potential of the system and to further enhance the resulting laminate properties.

As requested by industrial partners a technical and economical comparison of laser and infrared heating systems will be conducted.

In the previous phase II, the tape placement machine was expanded to create a highly productive, fully automated close-to-series production system. Extensive system tests, process investigations and laminate qualifications were successfully carried out.

Four companies have already joined the 12-week project: Easicomp GmbH, Laserline GmbH, Maru Hachi Corporation and Mitsui Chemicals Europe GmbH

The project offers the additional benefits of cost-sharing, co-design of the content of the development and individual trials as well as the exchange within the consortium.

The machine system is also available for bilateral testing to all companies.

If you are interested and would like to receive more information, please get in touch with Alexander Knauff:

Alexander Knauff
Manager Industrial Services | AZL Aachen GmbH
Phone: +49 241 475 735 16
Mobile: +49 177 283 5184
Email: alexander.knauff@azl-aachen-gmbh.de

Inductive Double Belt Press IV

Based on the frequently addressed requirements from the industry AZL is kicking-off a fourth phase to follow up on the developments of the AZL Joint Partner Project Cost- and Energy-Efficient Double Belt Press System” (project phase III) on August 30th, 2021.

In November 2020, the Joint Partner Project to improve the AZL “Cost- and Energy-Efficient Double Belt Press System” has been successfully accomplished. As result of the project, the isobaric double belt press system now accomplishes max. temperatures up to 300°C and is equipped with a closed-loop temperature control, optimized control system and HMI and with a belt cleaning system. The machine concept has been validated by extensive material and processing studies for the demonstration of wide applicability of the novel machine concept. Impregnation studies on thermoset as well as on thermoplastic material have been accomplished.

In order to investigate the full potential of this double belt press technology, further system upgrades, process trials, and optimizations for different materials and tasks are planned for the 12- week follow-up project.

Two main outcomes should be achieved:

The process temperature for the processing of high-performance polymers is to be raised >300°C with the aim to achieve up to 400 °C.
The press is to be expanded to include isochoric functionality so that, for example, foam or honeycomb cores can be processed.
This isochoric functionality will be combined with the existing isobaric functionality.

Also included in the project are vouchers for bilateral testing on the double-belt-press. The newly patented machine has already been used by many industrial partners bilaterally.

The project is open to join.

If you are interested and would like to receive more information, please get in touch with Alexander Knauff:

Alexander Knauff
Manager Industrial Services | AZL Aachen GmbH
Phone: +49 241 475 735 16
Mobile: +49 177 283 5184
Email: alexander.knauff@azl-aachen-gmbh.de

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: 22th October 2020

Project Duration: 8 months

AZL Joint Partner Project Download the flyer with the key facts to the project

Contact us to join 

Read news and update on the project

 

 

Latest Joint Partner Projects:

Completed: 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”
Completed: 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 closed, for more information regarding questions please contact us directly.

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
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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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