Automotive

Increasingly strict CO2 legislation drives the lightweight design in the automotive industry. Advanced metals, polymer composites and hybrid combinations of these materials are intensively researched to decrease the weight of vehicles. Thermoplastic composites are recognized for their potentially beneficial cost-performance ratio, since this class of materials allows for the mass production of structural parts. Especially, the combination of composites forming and injection molding has been subject of research during the recent years, resulting in ready-for-production designs.

Characteristics

Typical characteristics of thermoplastic composites for the automotive industry:

  • Automated high volume manufacturing
  • Function integration through for example overmolding
  • Infinite shelf life
  • Clean processing (i.e. no chemicals on the shop floor)
  • High impact resistance for crash applications

Challenges

  • Cost and quality of materials
  • Predictive processing based on numerical design tools
  • Integration of thermoplastic composites in existing assembly, for example metal-composite joining

Together with our partners we develop the tools and knowledge required for cost-effective manufacturing of thermoplastic composite automotive parts and structures. Care to learn more about our research or interested in a bilateral project? Do not hesitate to contact one of our experts.