How can steel be replaced by fiber composites in the development of chassis components? This is the question addressed by the Eco-Dynamic SMC project.
Gestamp, the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) and other consortium partners want to develop chassis components made of fiber composites in the “Eco Dynamic SMC” project. The aim is to create a closed development cycle for an automotive suspension wishbone in series production. In the development, the conventionally used steel is to be replaced by fiber composites made from recyclable materials in order to implement the "CF-SMC technology" (Carbon Fiber Sheet Molding Compound) for chassis components relevant to driving dynamics and safety in large-scale production.
In order to determine the fiber content and weight of the material stack before transfer to the mold, a digital twin is first created from the raw material production. The product development simulation is based on material characterization to determine the material properties and fiber orientation for the manufacturing process. The prototype will then be tested as a component on a test vehicle to evaluate mechanical and acoustic behavior. The Eco-Dynamic SMC project started in October 2021 and is concerned with developing a comprehensive continuous development process for fiber composite components that meet OEM approval procedures. In addition to the automotive suspension component, a motor glider suspension component will also be developed.