Assessment basis for future innovative structural components made of fiber reinforced composites in automobile manufacturing
Fiber reinforced composites, which can be used for structural components, differ with respect to type, orientation, and length of the reinforced fiber used, as well with regard to the chemical composition of the matrix materials which surround the fibers. This results in specific mechanical properties for each fiber reinforced system, which determine the application potential of each component. The required plastic is selected based on the subsequent requirements of the component (e.g. temperature or chemical resistance). The fiber used is still crucial as regards the high strength and rigidity of the fiber reinforced composite.
Every fiber reinforced composite requires special processing and system engineering. As a construction material, it has specific advantages and disadvantages. A direct comparison and evaluation of fiber reinforced composites is not possible, because in many production processes, the fiber orientation – which is decisive in determining the mechanical properties –adjusts as a result of the process. To enable faster and targeted development of structural components made of fiber reinforced plastics in the future, a decision-making aid for choosing the “right” fiber composite in the balance between the priorities of lightweight construction and economic efficiency is of essential importance.
Figure: Exemplary sequence of a simulation chain
This is where the MAI Q-fast project comes in: The goal of the project is to establish comparability for differently reinforced carbon fiber composites, which not only takes into account the mechanics of the materials, but also considers the appropriate production processes (see diagram). Ultimately, this is where questions regarding the suitability of differently reinforced carbon fiber composites for large-scale production as well as their economic efficiency from an industrial viewpoint need to be addressed. The MAI Q-fast project can thus contribute to establishing the right materials and processes for the selection of a fiber reinforced composite with respect to the most lightweight construction and economical production of large quantities for structural components.