Advanced Integral Manufacturing Process for Hybrid Metal-Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Automotive Panels
The multi material design (MMD) enables the use of locally optimized materials with required properties and low costs. A vital challenge of the MMD is the demand for suitable technologies for joining different types of materials like metal and fibre reinforced thermoplastics (FRP) concerning the performance and large-scale production.Novel lightweight-optimized hybrid metal- FRP structures contain locally reinforced joining areas. A suitable process for high-volume production with regard to sustainability and recyclability is the thermoforming process for fibre reinforced thermoplastics. The base material is a planar FRP organic sheet. If both – metal structures and FRP reinforcements – have to be integrated locally into the FRP part, this requires a modified thermoforming process, which ensures the forming from planar to 3D and a proper joining between the FRP/FRP and FRP/metal interface during consolidation. Different approaches are evaluated in this paper: a multi-step process with separated forming of metal and FRP plus final consolidation, a novel customized process with integral forming and consolidation of all parts in a single step as well as a mixture of both.
Author: Arne Kunze, and Hans-Werner Zoch
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017