Lightweight solutions are of increasing importance in various industrial areas, such as automotive, aerospace as well as mechanical and plant engineering. Typical lightweight materials, such as fibre-reinforced polymer composites (FRPC) and light metals, are incapable to exclusively fulfil the list of requirements requested for these applications. Thus, hybrid material structures are considered as advantageous. Project HybridRTM aims at developing a robust single-step resin transfer moulding (RTM) processing technique for hybrid material structures composed of metallic base elements and adhesively bonded FRPC components. Therein, the resin system acts as matrix constituent for the FRPC and as adhesive towards the metal element at the same time. This strategy improves the efficient use of lightweight materials and results in reduced production costs.
Starting with the definition of a three-dimensional functional model together with the required constituents, material tests will be conducted in order to determine mechanical, thermal and adhesive material properties. These are used for FEM simulation runs predicting the behaviour of hybrid material components, in particular in terms of residual stresses induced by the RTM process as a result of different thermal expansion coefficients of the constituents.
Process development will be supported by identification of relevant process parameters following a design-of-experiments (DoE) approach. Moreover, a model-based concept for process monitoring and management will be implemented in order to ensure consistently high manufacturing quality. The results and knowledge gained throughout the project will finally be verified by manufacturing parts of the functional model followed by non-destructive and destructive component testing.
This contribution to the symposium outlines the fundamental concept and summarizes results gained during the first two years of the project, which is funded by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology within the frame of the FTI initiative “Produktion der Zukunft” and administered by the Austria Research Promotion Agency (FFG).