Automotive manufacturers have to meet a wide range of requirements. Governmental regulations (e.g. recycling rates or emission standards) have an influence on future product strategies. Furthermore, customer demands (e.g. safety, comfort or driving characteristics) should be observed in order to place a successful product on the market. In this field of tension, different approaches to automotive lightweight design have become more and more important in recent years. Automotive suppliers and manufacturers have focused on metal materials with improved mechanical performance. New materials such as high-strength aluminum alloys or new processes such as the hot-forming of manganese-boron steels have been developed. For premium or motorsport applications, composite materials are also used. However, for large-scale products, the lightweight gains have been compromised by high material and production costs in most fields of application.
At this point, combinations of different materials could be identified as a promising approach for optimised lightweight design. The combination can be realised at the component level, where structures made of different materials are combined by adequate bonding technologies. Hybrid structures are characterised by a combination of different materials at a material level, i.e. at least one component is available as a semi-finished product just before the final production stage. Examples of hybrid systems can be found in prepreg-press-technology or in the forming of organic sheets, when composite materials are directly formed into a sheet metal structure. Other hybrid processes are intrinsic manufacturing processes. Here, the combination of different materials is realised in a single production step.
The combination of different materials with varying characteristics is a challenging approach. It affects the product development process, the simulation and optimisation of materials and products by numerical methods, the manufacturing processes and the testing of material systems and components. This special issue aims to address these challenges, which result from the combination of materials with different characteristics, behaviours and processing properties. The issue’s objective is to present answers and solutions in order to give researchers, scientists and engineers extensive technical guidance.
Because of the very specific theme of this special issue, authors are not encouraged to submit manuscripts covering typical topics on composites. However, authors are highly encouraged to submit topics addressing the following aspects of fibre-composite-based multi-material and hybrid systems for structural applications: the product development process, the simulation and optimisation of materials and products by numerical methods, the manufacturing processes and the testing of material systems and components.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Product development processes, which address the high complexity of material combinations
- Guidelines and technical instructions for the design of multi-material and hybrid components
- Integration of multi-material and hybrid approaches into existing manufacturing infrastructures
- Integration of multi-material and hybrid components into state-of-the-art assemblies/body-in-whites
- Material models for heterogeneous materials
- Design of multi-material and hybrid structures
- Optimisation of products in order to realise multi-material designs
- Numerical analysis of mechanical properties, e.g. under crash loads
- Mechanical characterisation of material systems
- Bonding technologies: mechanical, adhesive, hybrid and direct bonding approaches
- Large-scale manufacturing processes for multi-material and hybrid structures
- Intrinsic manufacturing approaches
- Improved mechanical properties by optimised manufacturing processes, process routes and process control
- Quality assurance and management of multi-material and hybrid components
- Detection of failures: destructive and non-destructive test methods
- (High-)dynamic material analysis
- Component tests under quasistatic or crash loads
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2016
Notification to authors: 30 November, 2016
Revised versions due: 31 January, 2017
Final versions due: 28 February, 2017