EU-funded project "FlexHyJoin" – pioneering joining technology for high-performance hybrid automotive components
Multi-material systems combining metals with thermoplastic fibre-reinforced polymer composites (TP-FRPC) are the key to lightweight design in the automotive industry. The crucial point however, is how the two materials forming the join can be connected. There is currently no concept that sufficiently meets the three core requirements: weight saving, cost and time efficiency, and structural joining strength. Technologies such as gluing or screwing, for example, show good results for one or two of the criteria, but not for all three.
The EU research project "FlexHyJoin" addresses precisely this challenge, with an explicit focus on the series production of hybrid components in automotive bodies: a new and fully automatic joining process for metal and thermoplastic fibre-plastic composites is expected to reduce the processing time and production costs in the series process. For this purpose, the induction- and laser-assisted joining processes have been combined in a fully automated production cell. Exemplarily, the ten project partners from research, development and industry demonstrate their first research results by means of a roof bow consisting of three connecting elements made of metal and a structural element made of polyamide with biaxial glass fibre reinforcement (known as "organo sheet metal").
As part of the research and innovation programme "Horizon 2020" , the project team founded in 2015 has now developed and completed the production cell consisting of the two joining processes.
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Sequence of the entire production process chain (courtesy of FILL m.b.H.)
The engineering company EDAG Engineering GmbH in Wiesbaden and its subsidiary EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG are responsible for the validation work in this research project: the economic testing and technical evaluation of the new process with reference to its suitability for use in the manufacture of production vehicles.
With their longtime expertise in the development of vehicles and production plants, the two companies are able not only to test the production plant with regard to cost efficiency, productivity, cycle time and environmental compatibility, but also to evaluate the quality of the components produced on the basis of various evaluation criteria. The cooperation thus makes it possible for an exhaustive assessment of the new joining process to be carried out with respect to its suitability for the automotive industry. Are the quality requirements of the component being met correctly? Is the process suitable for large series production? And in terms of cost, how does the process compare with the competition? Responses to these questions will be presented in Brussels in December 2018, when the project is expected to be completed.
The FlexHyJoin project offers an essential enabler technology for future mobility concepts.
This project receives funding from the European Union’s research and innovation programme “Horizon 2020“ under grant agreement no. 677625.
Gesamtbewertung FlexHyJoin Prozess für die Automobilindustrie
EDAG Engineering GmbH
Dr.-Ing. Frank Breitenbach
Bewertung Produktionszelle FlexHyJoin (industrielle Umsetzbarkeit)
EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG
CRF Centro Ricerche FIAT S.c.p.A., Italien
EDAG Engineering GmbH, Deutschland
FILL Gesellschaft m.b.H., Österreich
Fraunhofer ILT, Deutschland
Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spanien
Gubesch Thermoforming GmbH, Deutschland
Institut fuer Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH (Project Coordinator), Deutschland
KGR S.p.A., Italien
Leister Technologies AG, Schweiz
New Infrared Technologies S.L., Spanien