Prize money passed on
The winners, in addition to project manager Volkswagen, other leading representatives from research, the vehicle and supplier industry from nine European countries, donated the € 2,000 prize money directly to the medium-sized runner-up. “We are very happy about this important recognition of the Super Light Car, whose four-year development has already been well supported by EU funding. That is why we prefer to pass the prize money on to someone who also has great ideas, but can initially only advance them with small funds, "explains hydro-aluminum researcher Hirsch.
For the award, the NanoMikro + Werkstoffe.NRW cluster, which hosts the major materials conference and trade fair, had intensively examined a total of 24 projects. Finally, the "SuperLightCar" (SLC) was rated best, in particular because it provides specific options that can also be implemented economically.
Aluminum winner in the "SLC" material mix
On the basis of a VW Golf, the “SuperLightCar” project examined how the material mix in all component groups, especially in the body, can be improved so that the vehicle weighs at least 30 percent less, thus using less fuel and less CO2 emitted - but with reasonable additional costs for production series of at least 1,000 pieces per day. “So where lightweight construction makes a big difference,” explains Hirsch. In the end, the vehicle was 35 percent lighter: 180 kilograms less.
Above all, aluminum makes the model vehicle “super light”: its share of the body increases to 64% of the volume. "In the fair, intense struggle for the best possible solutions, aluminum is the clear winner in the SLC," says Hirsch.
advantage over carbon & nbsp;
Aluminum offers clear advantages for sustainable use in large series - and thus the long-term environmental effect through lightweight construction - by being completely and infinitely recyclable at the end of use without any loss of quality. "On the other hand, the currently heavily discussed carbon materials drop considerably in the long term," says Hirsch, "you have to burn them, what is left over is of poor quality and makes little contribution to a future carbon component. Aluminum, on the other hand, gets fit for the next use with only 5% of the primary energy requirement. “
Aluminum components also score points in vehicle construction because - unlike carbon - they can also be repaired. Likewise, the components with steel as the main material in the automobile can be connected very well and safely today, and because it is difficult to process, carbon is only of limited use for the foreseeable future for the production of large series.
& nbsp; Hydro is one of the leading suppliers of semi-finished aluminum products for the lightweight construction of means of transport: for passenger cars and in transport as well as for trains or ships. Hydro has developed a high-strength rolled strip alloy for the fastest growing aluminum segment in the automobile, the body shop, and expanded its automobile center in Grevenbroich with a 20 million euro annealing line. Hydro is presenting the "SLC" project today at InnoMateria. The jointly developed body is also on display. & Nbsp;