After four and a half years of intensive cooperation, the 38 partners of the "SuperLIGHT Car" (SLC) project on "Sustainable production technologies for lightweight construction concepts to reduce emissions" recently presented their results at a final conference in Wolfsburg. The project expires at the end of July.
VW was the project coordinator. As partners, automobile manufacturers such as Fiat, Daimler, Porsche, Renault, Volvo and Opel were involved, as well as ten research and development companies, ten suppliers, seven universities and three small and medium-sized companies. As a starting point, the project took the body-in-white of a Golf V and looked for ways to redesign it.
Even if the end result was not an all-aluminum car, the approach that the project participants were able to agree on is a new multi-material ("MM") lightweight design, in which aluminum is a clear winner over competing materials (new types of steel, polymers / plastic composites or magnesium). The project achieved weight reductions of at least 35 percent or 100 kilograms.
Hydro has taken care of all major issues related to the use of aluminum, including research and development. Our leading contribution was honored with a special SLC award. The Corus Research & amp; Development brought in skills and activities in the area of aluminum sheets, which Hydro now also offers with the new automotive line in Grevenbroich.
Jürgen Hirsch (photo) from Hydro Research & amp; Development in Bonn on the “SuperLIGHT Car”. He particularly emphasizes the strict requirements that the project had set itself:
- Same or improved structural and security performance
- Low costs (maximum 7 euros per kilogram saved)
- possibility of mass production (over 1000 cars a day)
- Environmentally friendly recyclability and lifecycle performance.
"We had to do a lot more than just lose a few pounds," says Hirsch. "With our solutions and research results, we achieved a super result: In the final concept of the SLC project, the car manufacturers opted for aluminum as the ideal lightweight material for most parts of the body-in-white, which is half the weight."
The development and evaluation process was based on intensive simulations with a view to construction and crash properties, material and manufacturing costs as well as questions of life cycle analysis.
Jürgen Hirsch: "It makes the results of this project so spectacular that aluminum obviously plays a leading role in terms of the innovation standards of the SLC project by setting the highest standards as a new reference for all lightweight construction methods."In other words, in a future with lighter cars, there should be a much larger market for aluminum. Hirsch: “And when it comes to aluminum solutions, the manufacturers will now consider Hydro even more as a natural partner.” The end model has even been fitted with an aluminum bumper, which is modified by a hydraulic bumper for your new Audi TT .