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Lightweight Construction

Hybrid material makes wishbones and trailing arms lighter

Essen-based chemicals company Evonik has developed an innovative manufacturing technique for car chassis parts. The use of metal and plastic hybrids makes these parts 20% lighter than their metal counterparts.

05 Nov. 2018
Hybrid material makes wishbones and trailing arms lighter (Photo: Evonik Industries AG)

The technique was developed as part of the Multiform project , backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In the project, Weber Fibertech and the University of Siegen were involved alongside Evonik. Weber Fibertech supplied a long fiber-reinforced thermoplastic (LFT), which was extruded into a malleable semi-finished product. In a molten state, the material was then bonded with a preheated metal sheet and, in a subsequent production step, pressed into shape and simultaneously joined. The result is a composite hybrid component that can be removed directly from the tool for immediate use.

Bonding with the LFT enables the use of a metal sheet that is a good 1 mm thinner than usual. This reduces the weight of the wishbones and trailing arms engineered for the manufacturing of cars by around 20%.