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Modern lightweight construction is more than simply substituting materials. "The key word for this future development is multi-material design, in other words hybrid lightweighting and conceptual lightweight design," says Wolfgang Seeliger, Managing Director of Lightweight BW. Special new lightweight methods focus on weight reduction in the early development and product design phases. "These early steps determine 70 to 80 percent of the products’ final weight. Such a large proportion cannot be reclaimed later simply by using lighter materials," says Seeliger. This shift in thinking covers not only conceptual lightweight design but also innovative production processes like the digitalization of the value chain. The Lightweight BW agency, which is appearing in Hall 6 at HANNOVER MESSE 2016, summarizes the idea in three words: "design, processing and simulation."

With a great variety of competing materials Industrial Supply , unlike trade shows solely for composites, provides the perfect platform for multi-material design. According to research, lightweight materials such as heavy duty steel, plastics and aluminum are becoming increasingly important. Compound materials, in particular carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), has a promising future, especially in combination with other materials.

What CFRP has to offer is showcased at the large group pavilion spearheaded by CFK Valley Stade at Industrial Supply. "Our aim is to show visitors from mechanical engineering and other industries such as shipbuilding, rail transport and construction the many ways they can benefit from using CFRP," says Dr. Gunnar Merz, CEO and Chairman of the association, which grew up around Airbus. The use of CFRP can make robots and machines a lot faster. "Unfortunately, many potential user industries lack awareness of the properties of these materials," says Merz.

"Our partnership with CFK Valley to create this new CFRP showcase is a major coup for Industrial Supply," says Marc Siemering, Senior Vice President in charge of HANNOVER MESSE at Deutsche Messe AG. "It further enhances the show as a marketplace for competing industrial materials and processes."

The trend to lightweight construction is one of the main underlying themes of the entire Industrial Supply show and has its own dedicated cluster at the Lightweight Construction display and its Solutions Area. Among others, a group pavilion coordinated by Carbon Composites e.V. of Augsburg can also be found here. MAI Carbon, Schäfer MWN GmbH, Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme GmbH, Eckert-Schulen, AVK and CIKONI TGU – TTI GmbH are just a few of the names that are participating.

Lightweight construction is also a focus of the casting industry. "The methods used to design and construct consistent lightweight materials have improved enormously in the past few years," explains the industry association BDG. "In the meantime, bionics has become standard in the design of geometries. Easily operated CAD programs enable excellent opportunities for construction. A large selection of exceptional materials is available. New machine tools can manufacture casting parts with great precision," says the association. The possibilities are being showcased by the industry at the "Casting Technology" display in Hall 5.

The forging industry is addressing this under the heading "Solid Lightweight Design". The Solid Lightweight Design Initiative consists of 28 firms working together on the "Phase II Lightweight Commercial Vehicles" project. Under the auspices of the Bulk Forming Industry Association they are showcasing the lightweight potential of a light commercial vehicle with a permitted total weight of 3.5 t. The provisional results will be presented in Hall 4.

At the Adhesive Bonding Technology display in Hall 6 lightweight construction also plays a major role. Its ability to bond various materials makes adhesive technology a natural partner when realizing modern lightweight design. Adhesive bonding is virtually irreplaceable in multi-material design, hybrid lightweighting, and manufacturing sandwich structures.

The close ties between Industrial Supply and Research & Technology will crytallize around the theme of lightweight construction in Hall 6. The stages at the Solutions Area and the Materials and Lightweight Construction Forum in Hall 6 will also be used by exhibitors in R&D’s Hall 2 to showcase corresponding new developments.

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