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AffordabLe LIghtweight Automobiles AlliaNCE

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ALLIANCE (AffordabLe LIghtweight Automobiles AlliaNCE)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-03-31

The ALLIANCE project will produce a set of solutions and methodologies that enable carmakers to build a whole vehicle complying with a 10% energy consumption reduction, 3€/kg-saved for 100k vehicle production volume and 6% reduction in have joined forces to foster the implementation of innovative lightweight technologies in series application. The project will prototype and validate the innovations at module level and transfer the results to a full vehicle virtual model demonstrating the impact at the vehicle level. The ALLIANCE objectives in detail are as follows:
• 21-33% weight reduction on 8 demonstrator modules to reach a 10% or 1,4 kWh energy consumption reduction at vehicle level.
• 3 €/kg-saved in average in the Body, Doors & closures and chassis parts, which corresponds to the ICE version of the vehicle.
• 6% improvement in GWP compared to the reference vehicle model in the Body, Doors & closures and chassis parts.
• Development and validation of novel, affordable materials for lightweighting with superior performance but low cost and low embedded footprint.
• Development and validation of more energy efficient, cost efficient, high-volume manufacturing technologies.
• Development of multi-parameter optimisation methodologies and tools taking into account weight, cost, environmental impact and manufacturability factors.
• Developing hands-on methodologies and tools for the efficient projection of lightweighting innovations from one vehicle component to another and from one vehicle segment to another.
The activities in the first 18 months have mainly focussed on the development / adaptation of high performing materials, on the conceptual design of exemplary demonstrators as well as on the development / adaptation of methodologies to assess the impact of lightweight solutions and to accelerate the conceptual design.
With respect to impact assessment (WP 1), a detailed cost and global warming potential (GWP) analysis has been carried out for the virtual reference vehicle model in an internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery electric (BE) variant. The vehicle model has been broken down to component level, enabling a detailed analysis of all relevant material and manufacturing technologies. Furthermore, a methodical approach has been developed based on Ricardo’s mass manager software that enables the pre assessment of a lightweight technology in a specific application on the basis of existing use cases.
With respect to material development (WP 2), initial Q&P steel casts were produced and processed into annealed and galvanized strip. The forming-limit curve and bending angle determined fulfils the expectations while the hole-expansion ratio exceeded the expected values. The welding current range appears limited compared to other DP-steels, the bond strength and sensitivity to liquid-metal-embrittlement are equal to or better than comparable DP grades. Besides, several aluminium grades for automotive applications have been produced at industrial scale, covering high formability, high strength and laser weldable without filler wire applications. The feasibility of local softening on aluminium 6xxx extrusions by induction heat treatment has been demonstrated.
In WP 3 “Material development” the materials developed within ALLIANCE have been addressed from the manufacturing point of view according to the considered modules/subassemblies. In providing material cards for forming simulations and spring back prediction, the simulation accuracy of advanced high strength steel was increased. Besides, improved material modelling using HAH and Yoshida models for spring back prediction in numerical simulations of AHSS have been accomplished. With respect to aluminum, an enhanced formability of new 6xxx grades has been developed, allowing complex design through conventional cold forming and without using expensive process like warm forming. Furthermore, different water feed systems for combining the Injection Compound process (IMC) with Water injection technology (WIT) have been analysed and relevant factors for an accurate verification of thermoplastic hybrid process identified.
In view of the conceptual design of exemplary demonstrator modules, the Target Weighing Approach (TWA), has been introduced and applied been applied to the benchmark demonstrator “wheel house with strut tower” (WP 4). Out of 19 ideas, 5 concepts for the house and 4 concepts for the strut tower were selected for further refinement. Besides, the TWA was extended to allow considering costs and CO2 emissions already in the selection of concepts. This methodology has been introduced to all partners responsible for the conceptual design of exemplary demonstrators.
Central for ALLIANCE is the technology demonstration of the developed solution in selected, demonstrators, either physical or virtually (WP 5). The conceptual design of theses demonstrators was done in close cooperation with the other WPs providing e.g. the specifications for the material and manufacturing technology development. For the different modules, a first design and respective selection of materials and manufacturing technologies has been identified which is meeting the ALLIANCE objectives.
ALLIANCE is aiming to reach an energy consumption reduction of 10% at vehicle level. This reduction translates into a necessary weight reduction for the body, doors & closures and chassis in the range of 108 kg (19%) for an ICE vehicle and 161 kg for an EV, based on the reference vehicle and NEDC cycle. A weight reduction of 21 – 33% on the demonstrator modules needed, extrapolated to the rest of the body, doors & closures and chassis parts via the transferability methodology. Assuming that every 100 kg saved results in 3-4 g less CO2/km, the ALLIANCE weight targets lead to a 648 kg CO2 reduction over a vehicle life time (200.000 km).
Furthermore, lightweight design and optimization of the overall vehicle architecture, based on advanced materials and production technologies, is one of the most important skills and capabilities upon which carmakers base their competitive advantage on. ALLIANCE will generate unique knowledge on different key topics within the lightweight field enabling its partners to create competitive vehicles addressing customer preference in Europe and within the global market. The increased attractiveness of the vehicles marketed (primarily) by the 6 participating OEMs will provide a competitive edge that increase their market share globally by estimated 5% or 200.000 vehicles per year sold additionally. Thus, there is a significant impact in the growth potential of the suppliers, large companies and SMEs, triggered by the new or extended opportunity of using the new innovative materials and technologies developed within ALLIANCE. This growth directly translates in maintaining or creating about 10.000 highly skilled jobs in Europe related to lightweight automotive manufacturing.
To reach the aforementioned targets and impacts, ALLIANCE will provide advanced steel and aluminum alloys, such as high strength/high formable 6000 and 7000 series aluminum alloys and composites reinforced with glass fibers, as well as innovative steel sandwich materials. The project envisages the optimization of these materials to become suitable for the innovative manufacturing and joining technologies allowing high volume production. All technologies will be demonstrated with exemplary modules.
The ALLIANCE conceptual approach