ALIVE: achieved one of the main milestones

alive_1Since October 2012, CIDAUT has been working in ALIVE project together with other 20 partners including 7 major carmakers, 7 major suppliers, 2 SME’s and 4 academia research centres.

After more than 2 years of work, 21 partners have been developed materials and design concepts to obtain a high potential reduction of the weight of Electric Vehicles, while keeping track of the essential aim of affordable application to high volume productions.

In an extraordinary general meeting that took place on 25th of June at Darmstadt and was hosted by Fraunhofer LBF, the frozen design was presented as one of the big project milestones.

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In ALIVE project, CIDAUT has carried out the necessary tasks to produce a new magnesium technology based on counter-gravity and laminar filling of sand moulds by using an electromagnetic pump that drives melted magnesium into the mould. Thanks to an automatic control of the filling profile, it is possible to obtain high performance components with low cycle times at low costs.

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During the current year, CIDAUT and the other partners will have to manufacture the different components that complete an assembled demonstrator and modules that can be tested along 2016.

If you wish to learn more about ALIVE or the SEAM activities, visit:

www.project-alive.eu and www.seam-cluster.eu

Cidaut starts REMAGHIC, a H2020 project on the recycling of Rare Earth Elements applied to produce Magnesium alloys

At the end of April, the EC officially communicated Cidaut the outcome of the evaluation for REMAGHIC proposal. It was favourably evaluated within the H2020 SPIRE-07-2015 call, and the grant preparation process started immediately.

REMAGHIC, New Recovery Processes to produce Rare Earth-Magnesium Alloys of High Performance and Low Cost, aims at contributing to Europe’s rare earth recovery and magnesium recycling technologies, improving the efficiencies of these processes and advancing the technology readiness levels for a new generation of industrial processes that will produce new low cost competitive alloys for a wide variety of sectors across Europe’s manufacturing value chain.

The project motivation lies on the fact that magnesium alloys can offer a significant weight reduction when compared to aluminium alloys. Weight reduction is a cross sectorial key design driver, if a superior energy absorption and vibratory behaviour is added, magnesium is a promising candidate for future application if some of its drawbacks are overcome, such as its cost, manufacturability problems, corrosion and creep behaviour and low allowable service temperature. Addition of rare-earth elements (REE) improves the performance of Mg alloys significantly, though a price increase has to be taken into account. REMAGHIC believes that by investing in recovery and recycling technologies, a new alloying process can be developed to yield low cost Mg+REE alloys.

REMAGHIC will contribute to the penetration of magnesium alloys in important sectors for the European industry (Transport, Energy, Biomedicine); it will foster the work done by Tier1s, and promote the interest of different OEMs on future generations of light structural components of competitive performance (that of primary Mg+REE alloys), low cost (that of primary Mg) and weight reduction (30%).This will encourage further improvements in these technologies thanks to finding new markets and applications that will foster the recovery of different REE.

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remaghic_2 REMAGHIC Work Plan Structure & Raw Materials Industrial Value Chain

Even though there are many Mg+REE alloys in the market, none of these is obtained from fully recovered/recycled raw materials. The development of an alloying processes that takes into account a different variety of recovered REE (which are expected to come in different forms), and includes recycled Mg (assessing its quality meets the same standards as a primary Mg) is totally unprecedented and will have a multifaceted impact, improving efficiency and competitiveness, promoting sustainable manufacturing, contributing to reduce the manufacturing processes environmental impact, strategically sheltering Europe from supply shortages and enabling better societal life quality.

The consortium includes Cidaut as coordinator, Tecnalia, Fraunhofer ICT, and KU Leuven as research partners, and Grupo Antolin, Relight, ITRB, Piaggio Aero, Pininfarina and Meotec as industrial partners. The EC has granted REMAGHIC a 3,253,442 € funding for this H2020 SPIRE project.

CIDAUT will be at MATCOMP 2015: The XI National Congress on Composite Materials

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The XI Spanish National Congress on Composite Materials (http://matcomp15.org/) is jointly organized by the Rey Juan Carlos University, AEMAC (The Spanish Association of Composite Materials) and FIDAMC, and its main sponsor is AIRBUS Group. CIDAUT will participate presenting two different papers, one dedicated to development of material models for short fibre reinforced materials, and a second one focused on the implementation of design methodologies for continuous carbon fibre composites for automotive safety components.

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The MATCOMP series of National Congresses have, ever since their founding in 1995, become the most important meeting between the academic, scientific and industrial communities within the composite materials field in Spain. The main objective has always been the establishment of a communication channel between the industry and the technical and scientific community to promote research, development, innovation, as well as the use and spreading of composite materials.

CIDAUT has taken part in these congresses in the past, and this year our contribution is focused on the design of automotive components. Nowadays it’s all about weight reduction, new environmental standards are calling for sustainability in mobility, which will be achieved with greener power trains and optimized light weight designs.

Short fibre reinforced components have considerably improved mechanical properties in terms of stiffness and structural strength thanks to the fibre contribution to their performance. Though used in the automotive industry for a long time, the influence of the manufacturing process is seldom taken into account because of the lack of an easy to implement design methodology, as current research goes through complex material models or expensive and very specific software packages.

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BMW i3 Profile (Source: BMW Group Press Club)

If weight reduction is considered, then advanced composite materials, and especially those combining continuous fibre with plastic matrixes are very well poised for growth. In this context, several continuous carbon fibre components can be found in the automotive industry, from bonnets, front end structures, underbodies, side pillars or roofs, to the ambitious BMW i3 passenger cell. Our research deals with designing a suspension arm, which is probably one of the lesser found examples in the sector. A list of critical load cases has been selected from the suspension arm of a representative B segment vehicle. The packaging requirements have been taken from the same vehicle as well, imposing a limit on the available design volume. The challenge in this design lies mainly in taking into account manufacturing requirements such as the desirable symmetry of the staking, the correct combination of biaxial non crimp fabric plies with UD reinforcements, the limits on the possible orientations if the curvature radius grows imposed by the manufacturing process, together with the mechanical load cases and the available design space.

Meet us at MATCOMP the 6th-8th of July 2015 to know more about our research in the field of composite materials, or get in touch with us, we are always happy to share our experiences and find new collaboration opportunities.