Hybrid materials are the combination of different polymers (matrices), different reinforcing fibers and/or additional metallic components. Hybrid structures involve the design and the process layout in order to manufacture parts which consist of different materials or join multiple materials. Using hybrid materials and structures, it is possible to develop the most appropriate material to meet a specific set of requirements.
Novel applications and processes for hybrid-materials are developed and investigated across a range of research areas. The manufactured materials are characterized with respect to their mechanical, physical and chemical properties.
Current production processes such as resin transfer molding (RTM), vacuum assisted resin infusion (VARI) or filament winding are being adapted to co-process different material combinations. Examples include different matrix materials for locally increased stiffness and glass-fiber textile reinforced with carbon-fiber tows in high load areas.
Load-Introduction and Force-Transmission Structures
In industrial applications, the joining of traditional metallic components with composite components and load-introduction areas present new challenges. The design and the development of manufacturing processes for noval force-introduction concepts such as shaft-hub joints between steel and CFRP drive-shafts, inserts or bolted-joints are current research topics.
Thermoplastic Film Integration using Resin Transfer Moulding
Class-A surface quality, high production rates and low processing costs have not yet been fully implemented for automotive exterior parts. The integration of thermoplastic films at an early stage of the value creation is leading to a more compact and automatable production chain. Such an approach is based on flat hybrid “interstage” sheets. These sheets can then be stored, transported, formed, processed and finished in a manner similar to that of metals.
Process-integrated Manufacturing of CFRP Metal Hybrid Structures
The integrated design and manufacturing of CFRP parts with metal-inserts reduces the expenditure of production and enables an adhesive bond as well as a form closure. Challenges arise from different thermal expansions of the materials, as residual stresses within the cured component may occur. Complete impregnation of the textile preform and laminate quality, despite the influence of the metal insert, must be maintained.