Hannover. The "Lightweighting in Baden-Württemberg" pavilion in Hall 6 ranks among the big highlights at the Industrial Supply show at this year's HANNOVER MESSE. From 24 to 28 April 2017, 10 companies from the German state of Baden-Württemberg will be showcasing their latest lightweight solutions on the pavilion's 220 square meters (2,370 sq. ft) of display space. The participants, all of whom are SMEs, come from nearly every part of the lightweight value chain and will cover all the key trends in the industry, including digitalization, additive manufacturing, hybrid materials and the new possibilities opened up by the latest design, process and simulation solutions.
As hybrid design becomes more and more widespread, so do hybrid joints. TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH, one of the pavilion's ten participants, will be presenting an interlocking metal-plastic joining system that does not require any glue or bonding agent. The resulting joint is significantly stronger than its conventional glue-based counterparts, which opens us completely new design possibilities. The system also simplifies production. In addition to its novel joining system, TRUMPF offers a wide range of additive manufacturing services.
The lightweight trend has also sparked fresh interest in technical textiles. Gustav Gerster GmbH & Co. KG's pavilion showcase includes a spiral fabric that lends additional support to round components. This is made possible by specially fitting the material to the diameter of the component. The result: a significant weight reduction over conventional steel and aluminum washers and spacers.
Albert Handtmann Elteka GmbH & Co. KG will be presenting its latest innovation: HICOMPELT®, a carbon fiber or glass fiber mat-based composite material. HICOMPELT® is made in a T-RTM (thermoplastic resin transfer molding) process using low-viscosity polyamides. The resulting material features an exceptionally high (65 percent) fiber content and superior stiffness.
C & C Bark Metalldruckguss und Formenbau GmbH will be showcasing its new hot-chamber die casting process, which enables magnesium die-cast components to be manufactured easily and energy efficiently. Hot-chamber die casting significantly reduces the requisite melting energy and the amount of return material.
By combining new materials and production techniques, several kilograms can be shaved off the weight of modern vehicles. Prototechnik, the Eberspächer Group's lightweight technology subsidiary, will use the group display to present its lightweight exhaust systems which are made from titanium and other materials as well as various components produced using additive manufacturing. Prototechnik's exhaust system is about 50 percent lighter than the best exhaust systems that are currently being used in automotive manufacturing. This is made possible by the exhaust's thin-walled structures and Prototechnik's unique expertise in the processing of specialist materials.
The use of different materials in hybrid lightweight design places new demands on the qualities of material surfaces, such as ceramic coatings. The CERANOD® coating system developed by ELB - Eloxalwerk Ludwigsburg Helmut Zerrer GmbH enables aluminum surfaces to be tailored to the specific needs of different industries. The company's showcase will feature a range of components with complex geometries, such as impellers and turbines, that have been coated with custom ceramics surfaces.
Fastening systems will also play an increasingly important role in lightweight design. Weippert Kunststofftechnik GmbH will be presenting nuts and bolts made from high-density plastic with a glass fiber content of between 30 and 60 percent. Depending on the technical requirements of a particular application, these nuts and bolts can replace parts made of aluminum or steel.
Werner Bauser GmbH's lightweight high-precision plastic gears, which are up to 40 percent lighter than their conventional counterparts, can help automotive manufacturers achieve incremental but crucial weight savings. Lightweight core materials, such as the special foam filling produced by Gaugler & Lutz oHG are also gaining in popularity, as the group exhibit will show.
Material substitution is another area of increasing importance to intelligent lightweight design. Grieshaber GmbH & Co. KG specializes in the production of precision parts made of non-ferrous metals with a particular focus on aluminum.
The "Lightweighting in Baden-Württemberg" pavilion in Hall 6 is co-organized by Leichtbau BW and Baden-Württemberg International. Leichtbau BW is wholly owned by the State of Baden-Württemberg and represents a network of around 1,450 companies and over 200 research institutions covering all aspects of lightweight technology.