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Enhanced lightweight design by composites - results of the EU project ENLIGHT

: Mayer, Dirk; Bein, Thilo; Buff, Hendrik; Götz, Benedict; Schwarzhaupt, Oliver; Spancken, Dominik


Journal of reinforced plastics and composites : JRPC 37 (2018), Nr.19, S.1217-1224
ISSN: 0731-6844 (Print)
ISSN: 1530-7964 (Online)
Fraunhofer LBF ()
lightweight design; automotive; composite structure; life cycle analysis; smart system integration

Over recent decades, cars have become larger and heavier with every new generation. The main drivers of such a weight increase have been the improved safety and comfort requirements. Decades of R&D investments to tackle this tendency have resulted in a substantial increase in the weight-specific performance of components and assemblies in terms of cost, strength and stiffness. However, the need for weight reduction in future electric vehicles, without unduly compromising performance and safety, is even stronger since additional weight translates into either reduced driving range or in larger, heavier and more expensive batteries. Within this context, the European Green Vehicle project ENLIGHT developed highly innovative lightweight material technologies for application in structural vehicle parts of future volume produced electric vehicles. Among others, ENLIGHT developed thermoplastic matrix composite and associated manufacturing technologies to a stage that they were applicable at least in medium volume production. The material development was complemented by investigating the required manufacturing and assembly technologies as well. In this paper, a summary of the major results obtained during the four-year project year is presented. A special focus is given to a semi-active composite control arm with significant reduced weight but enhanced NVH properties.