Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Resource-friendly car manufacturing

Date:
April 4, 2011
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Magnesium instead of steel -- this could be an option for lightweight car body parts. A car door made of magnesium is roughly 50 percent lighter. This is one of the exhibits drawn from along the automobile manufacturing chain that German researchers are showcasing,

Magnesium instead of steal. This could be an option for lightweight car body parts.
Credit: © Fraunhofer IWU

Magnesium instead of steel -- this could be an option for lightweight car body parts. A car door made of magnesium is roughly 50 percent lighter. This is one of the exhibits drawn from along the automobile manufacturing chain that researchers at the Fraunhofer AutoMOBILE Production Alliance are showcasing at the Hannover Messe, April 4-8.

Lighter, more economical, more reasonably priced -- that is the motto. If possible, equipped with electric drive, too. Carmakers have lots of demands to meet. Researchers at the Fraunhofer AutoMOBILE Production Alliance help carmakers meet these demands, and the developments they are working on include lightweight car components. They are presenting the results of their work at the Hannover Messe in the form of a "glass car."

One example is the car door made of magnesium, a development by researchers at the die Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz. The door weighs just around 4.7 kilograms (a little over 10 pounds). By way of comparison: the version in steel weighs some 10.7 kilos (about 23.5 lbs). Of all substances, though, why magnesium? "Magnesium is available in large quantities worldwide, it can be molded, and for similar structures -- a car door, for instance -- it has virtually the same properties as steel. "For example, it has a comparable rigidity" summarizes Sφren Scheffler, group manager at IWU. "We have developed specific molding technologies for wrought magnesium alloys. This makes the lightweight material available for future use in series production of car bodies."

How can the quantities of materials used be reduced? What recyclable materials offer a long-term supply and are candidates for reduction? And what resource-saving technologies and plant technologies offer adequate potential for the future? In all, the researchers will be showcasing around 40 new developments -- and thus an excerpt of the entire production chain, from the planning stages to the complete and painted vehicle. "Our displays focus on the themes of a car's body, powertrain, interior, vehicle assembly, methodological competence and production research for electromobility," explains Alliance coordinator Lars Koch.

The researchers will be presenting a slide-ground tumbled alloy wheel rim, for instance. In the process of slide-grinding and tumbling, the wheel rim is moved through a fill of abrasive media moving with a particular frequency. As one would with sand paper, manufacturers begin with coarse abrasive media and replace this with finer and finer abrasives over several steps. While slide-grinding is a conventional technology, to date it has lacked clear specifications: what frequency must be used to stimulate the abrasive media? How does one move the wheel rim through the process? What geometries and shapes of abrasive media are best suited to the task? Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK in Berlin are now investigating the theoretical connections and making a systematic record of them.

Car manufacturing can also be optimized through the use of new joining processes. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Research IFAM in Bremen have come up with a gluing process that allows for markedly faster production, such as in the glass front of a headlight. Conventional adhesives need several hours before they are hardened through humidity -- and the headlight has to be held in place throughout this period. "We use an adhesive that is also heat-hardening," notes Dr. Skupin, a researcher at IFAM. "We heat it locally using a microwave antenna, and within one minute the adhesive has hardened and assembly can continue." The new adhesive is already ready for use in industry.

The Fraunhofer AutoMOBILE Production Alliance bundles the expertise of 17 institutes to provide comprehensive and competent research and development support to the German automobile industry. Thanks to the thematically complementary areas of research focus of the individual institutes, innovations can be implemented quickly, holistically and sustainably along the entire process chain for automobile production. The alliance takes on challenges in environmental policy, such as fuel and CO2 reduction, electromobility and reductions in the use of material. At the same time, it considers the economic aspects involved, such as the permanent pressures to cut costs. The alliance's offices are located at the Fraunhofer IWU in Chemnitz.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Resource-friendly car manufacturing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404092134.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2011, April 4). Resource-friendly car manufacturing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404092134.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Resource-friendly car manufacturing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404092134.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins