In recent years, the automotive industry has been focused on weight reduction activities in order to reduce fuel consumption and environmental problems. Regulations aiming that focus are especially obligatory for the OEMs. AHSS and Aluminum are generally used in the automotive industry for weight reduction. However, it is recognized that there must be alternative materials to reach the targets. The most suitable material is thermoplastic because of its high strength level, recycling advantages and environmental friendly specifications for the automotive industry. In terms of weight reduction, new generation thermoplastic materials with their high energy absorption values will be especially suitable for light body components such as front body structure.
Automotive components produced by the Additive Manufacturing process are not used frequently at present. In the future, polymer materials will find a large scale on the car body. The high energy absorbing capabilities of fiber reinforced polymer composite (FRP) materials is one of the main factors in their application in automotive and aerospace structures, while they also provide other functional and economic benefits such as enhanced strength, durability, weight reduction and lower fuel consumption. By using polymer materials, new production methods will be discovered in the near future. The components which produced with AM process will be the hot topic in the automotive industry.
Our innovation is a crashbox structure produced by Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing Technology. The product is shown in Picture 1. This innovative product has an adjustable energy absorption level due to different types of lattice structures included in design. This innovation also has a design freedom and needs no die in order to be manufactured. Crashboxes are passive crash prevention structures. The-state-of-the art they are produced by ultra high strength steels or aluminum materials. Location of crashbox structure is shown in Picture 2. Comparison of crashbox structures with aluminum and CFRP is shown in Picture 3. Also this innovation offers to the industry, design freedom opportunities and weight reduction with porous structures using lattices instead of aluminum and UHSS. In addition to all, structure has been produced and the physical test of product has been performed and picture related with drop test is shown in Picture 3.
- Our innovative crashbox offers as follows;
Our product has not been implemented yet and TRL level of innovation is 5. The risk factors for success are;
- Reach up to 100kN force and 5kJ energy absorption capacity,
- Extremely resistance to corrosion,
- Surface sensitivity is quite high for automotive industry.
- Sustainability of AM process quality
- Lack of competitive price
- Selecting suitable joining technologies (such as riveting, laser welding, adhesives) for assembling with environmental car products