Lightweight powertrain design

Researchers working in the field of lightweight powertrain design are developing innovative lightweight solutions for drive train components. This includes all product development stages from conceptual design and via design based on mathematical validations and the production of prototypes to the final testing of parts. These activities aim to surpass the current state of the art by using process-oriented construction and functional integration as well as appropriate multimaterial design approaches.

Conceptual and constructive lightweight design

Application-oriented lightweight design depends on appropriate conceptual and geometric design. The focus is on the significant reduction of component weight while keeping sight of material properties and possible processing and joining technologies.

Simulative validation

The lightweight solutions obtained can already be verified in an early stage of development using the finite element method (FEM), or multibody or flow simulation. Further potential in the field of lightweight design could be unlocked by subsequent  optimization loops.

 

Prototype production

For the production of complex prototypes, state-of-the-art production technology and know-how in the field of process engineering are used in the following processes at Fraunhofer ICT: long and short fiber injection molding (thermoplastic and thermosetting), LFT and SMC extrusion, RTM processes (thermoplastic & thermosetting matrix materials).

 

Testing and validation

The validation of the functionality and the characterization of the operational behavior of lightweight functional prototypes can be conducted by testing the prototype on component and engine test stands . At Fraunhofer ICT and in the NAS project group, a variety of testing methods and facilities are available.