Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FlexHyJoin Report Summary

Project ID: 677625
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FlexHyJoin (Flexible production cell for Hybrid Joining)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Multi-material systems combining metals with thermoplastic fiber reinforced polymer composites (TP-FRPC) is one of the major topics for lightweight design in the automotive industry.
However, the joining of metal with TP-FRPC components remains main issue. Currently, no approach exists which sufficiently meets the three core requirements: weight neutrality, cost and time efficiency and bonding strength.
Technologies like adhesive bonding or bolted joints show good results for one or two of the criterions, but not for all three of them.
The FlexHyJoin project aims at the development of a joining process for hybrid components, which satisfies all three criterions.
Induction Joining (IJ) and Laser Joining (LJ) are combined, since they have complementary fields of application and most of all, they do not require additional material and are therefore weight neutral joining methods.
Thus, the full lightweight potential is preserved. Additionally, a surface texturing method for the metal is integrated in the approach, which leads to a form closure bonding, providing a high mechanical bonding performance.
Finally, a main aspect of the FlexHyJoin project is to incorporate the surface texturing as well as both joining methods in a fully automatized pilot process with an overall process control and supervision system.
This leads to a maximum of cost and time efficiency and will allow the future application of the approach in the mass production of automobiles.
The key for the automation is an online process control and quality assurance. The FlexHyJoin project provides an essential enabler technology for future mobility concepts.
The final result is an innovative joining process for fiber reinforced polymers and metals, suiting the strict requirements of automotive industry and enabling the broad application of hybrid material systems.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Within the first work package of the project the demonstrator part as well as its geometry was finalized.
The FlexHyJoin technology will be validated by means of a composite roof stiffener located behind the B-pillar of a car (Figure 1).
Laser joining as well as induction joining will be applied to join metal brackets onto the composite part, which facilitate assembly to the car body.
Specifications of the demonstrator part as well as of the manufacturing process, including surface structuring, laser and induction joining, were determined and will feed into subsequent work packages.
Furthermore, within the first reporting period the optimization of the process steps of the FlexHyJoin pilot production cell was pushed forward.
For the surface structuring process of the demonstrator’s metal brackets the parameters were optimized.
For laser and induction joining a non-destructive online monitoring system is being implemented.
Moreover, the joining processes themselves are further being developed and optimized.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

By the optimum combination of laser and induction joining for components containing both complex and large joining areas, the FlexHyJoin project enables the weight neutral joining of different materials without the use of potentially harmful solvents.
The resulting hybrid parts allow for the best use of multi-material systems according to the motto “the right material in the right place” – depending on the applied loads.
Lightweight parts and vehicles will be the consequence, leading to reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emission during their service life.
Additionally, FlexHyJoin will implement a non-destructive online monitoring system, which will allow identifying defects of parts during their manufacturing process without destroying them.
This technique contributes to a more sustainable and advanced manufacturing process.

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