Together with ten project partners, coordinated by Brose Fahrzeugteile SE & Co. KG, Bamberg, scientists from the Laboratory for Material and Joining Technology (LWF) at the University of Paderborn are developing a combined physical and virtual process chain for fiber-composite plastic-metal hybrid structures as part of the project "hypro - Holistic implementation of hybrid construction methods into series production". The aim is to make the production of hybrid components industrially suitable for series production and at the same time competitive.
Hybrid structures made of metal, thermoplastic fibre composite and plastic offer considerable potential for lightweight construction, but have not yet been established on a large-scale production. Existing uncertainties regarding the process capability and the effective process-structure-property relationships are to be eliminated in hypro. The core of the process chain to be developed will be a flexible manufacturing cell based on a combined injection molding technology, which allows a fully automated and plasma-based pretreatment of a wide range of metallic materials. The continuous in-line acquisition of process data in the tailored plant, tool and handling technology will provide a comprehensive database for process analysis. Proof of process capability and comprehensive data acquisition are carried out in a quantity range of 10,000 copies.
The hybrid structures are also to be digitized throughout the development, characterization and production processes. The combination of real and simulation data will then enable calculation-supported non-destructive inline quality assurance and the prediction of component properties.
In the project, the researchers and developers also want to develop methods for the efficient design and layout of hybrid structures based on the virtual representation of the process chain. In particular, their ability to be integrated into series production assembly lines using established joining technologies will be investigated and dismantling and repair concepts will be developed. The scientists will demonstrate the practical maturity of the developed process chain by means of a safety-relevant structural component.
The joint project hypro (funding code: 03XP0284I, duration 2.5 years, total volume EUR 3.3 million) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag under the supervision of the Project Management Organisation Jülich PTJ.