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MEET surveys
 Summary
Multimaterial assembly (incl.composites)
Thermoformable & recyclable composites
Survey inputs
Survey fields
Survey fields & framework
Multimaterial assembly : steel, aluminum, low perf. & high perf.
composites …
Thermoformable & recyclable composites
Industries : Mainly focused on automotive & aeronautics
industries (nautical industry also potentially concerned)
Objective : identify the major needs in terms of R&D programs in
these fields
A qualitative approach has been chosen, based on verbal interviews, with
open questions, allowing an interactive exchange, with an accurate
understanding of the needs expressed
Approx. 25 interviews have been carried out with industrial companies &
research laboratories
Average length of each interview : 1 to 1.5 hour
Questions focused on state of the art, market needs, identified R&D topics,
technical locks, TRL, remaining R&D effort level, expected time to market …
All organizations interviewed are based in France, within Mov’eo’s network
Organizations interviewed
Organizations interviewed
Big companies
Public research
Survey 1
Multimaterial assembly
State of the art
Overmoulding of a metal beam by thermoplastics material,
mainly assembled by geometric imbrications
Spare wheel bowl New C4 Picasso – SMC
composite associated to metal flanges
inserts, ready for standard spot welding
process at OEM
Advanced project study - Door frame reinforcement
(PSA – DUPONT) - Thermoformed organosheet
integrating metal inserts, then backmolded with PA,
assembled on the door frame thanks to gluing +
mechanical fixtures
State of the art
Main serial composites applications today in automotive industry are based on a black
metal approach, as composites are used as localized applications, integrated in a global
standard frame
Result is that the new designed composite part has to be assembled with a standard
process (spot welding for example), which means to design interfaces with local metal
inserts integrated in the composite part. A great step, but result is not optimized in terms
of cost and weight reduction
In aeronautics industry, solutions are mainly based on riveting and bonding
Future aircrafts and automotive structures will be composed of a mix of aluminum-steelcomposites materials
Smart solutions have been recently developed in terms of bonding, which is perceived as
the main future solution for high structural performance assembly, as a continuous bond
between parts is required
… nevertheless, serious locks remain in case of hybrid design. For example the automotive
industry will probably continue for a long time to impose E-coat process to these
multimaterials BIWs
… moreover required production cycle time impose to be able to fix rapidly car geometry
… and bonding solutions cannot offer this today, that’s why additional mechanical fixtures
are necessary … which is also complicated with best in steel solutions (Extra High Strength
Steel …difficult to clinch or drill)
State of the art
Having solutions like bonding is a key positive fact, nevertheless being able to provide
repeatable & robust solutions at high production rates is as important, and absolutely
necessary : not provided today
Developing solutions for rapid quality control of these new assembly systems is also
required for a wide application in aircraft & automotive industry : not provided today
Ageing concerns of multimaterials assembly have also to be seriously assessed, as not
well known at the moment (differential expansion, weather conditions aging, fatigue
Some R&D collaborative projects already on composite solutions, not addressing all
providing materials & technological solutions to produce parts, but the challenge now
is to assemble all these parts together
Research programs seem to exist in Europe concerning composites / metal welding …
Top 5 R&D axis identified
Ageing of bonding systems at 10 years or more : simplified methods used today are not
predictive enough, and above all there is a large variability from 1 OEM to another,
complicating the development of efficient & relevant solutions by suppliers
 strong need to define new specifications and standards in terms of ageing and
characterization methods, fully dedicated to composites and multimaterials assembly
Digital simulation so as to be fully predictive, compulsory for safety parts : modelling of
assembly systems has to focus first on fatigue & crash concerns in the coming years, and
then to take into account high impact of assembly processes
Reliability and repeatability : is process control enough to ensure requested quality level
+ non destructive inspection solutions to be developed, compatible with high production
volumes (1 minute time cycle target for automotive)
For high performance structural composites : strong need to imagine & develop robust
continuous assembly concepts for a multimaterial design, compatible with 1 minute time
cycle (parts design, materials, industrial equipments, processes …)
Short term needs for SMEs : support in characterization of their products, including after
ageing, and in the choices among the solutions offered to them in terms of materials
Survey 2
Thermoformable & recyclable composites
State of the art
Advanced study - Suspension wishbone
Thermoformed PA-CF organosheet
BMW 3 door panel – Wood fiber
+ PP thermoformed design
State of the art
Most thermoformed composites on the market today are based on thermoset
resins and few with thermoplastics (often SMC process)
In terms of recycling, main valorization axis for thermosets parts is crushing, then
use as a reinforcement in concrete manufacturing and/or burned for energy
Concerning thermoplastics resins, recycling is theoretically easier, as mashed
parts could be used to produce new composite parts (even if very high
mechanical performance solutions are difficult to mash with existing
equipment,…), possibly in applications with lower mechanical performance
Thermoplastic resin manufacturers have recently developed & commercialized
plates (DUPONT, SOLVAY, LANXESS … mainly polyamide based) ready to used for
thermoforming process, with possibility to integrate various reinforcements
(carbon, glass … fibers, mainly continuous for high mechanical properties) or
mechanical elements, and optionally overmoulded for functions integration
Main drawbacks of these solutions : % of wasted material due to the initial
rectangular shape, whatever the final shape, limiting their competitiveness
Top 5 R&D collaborative axis identified
Mixing of thermoset & thermoplastics resins, to combine properties and functions
For non or semi structural applications (or in structural apps in addition to others to
combine properties) : integration of natural fibers as reinforcements
need to develop processes & equipments adapted to large production scale +
properties & performance repeatibility to be improved
Digital simulation : R&D work still to be done concerning thermoplastic plates,
integrating the impact of the process steps, and also the impact of humidity on resins
like PA. For bio based solutions, there is an existing variability in terms of properties
that has to be also integrated into modelling so as to propose safe designs
For the use of natural fibers, some high manuacturing T°processes are damaging to
their performances : a special R&D work on process T° profiles and time cycles has to
be done, to preserve their maximum potential and then their competitiveness
Also for natural fibers : special work to be done on fiber-resin compatibility,
fireproofing & behaviour
Most of the organizations interviewed announce a
strong interest in being involved in new R&D
collaborative programs based on these 2 topics,
particularly for multimaterial assembly
Needs are considered as very short term for most of
the topics identified, as use of composites will shortly
become necessary although technological locks will
still exist (EU CO2 regulation from 2020 for the
automotive industry for example)
Surveys conducted by :
Jérôme Lavernhe
IMS Partner
1 av Porchefontaine F-78000 Versailles
+33 615 016 119
[email protected]
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