A new lightness - intelligent multi-material mix for body concepts
One of the most important criteria in automotive construction both today and in the future is making vehicles lighter - regardless of the type of drive - in order to make consumption savings and increase efficiency. However, this is particularly important for e-vehicles, since the required batteries have a higher weight load than a tank. In addition, the range of an e-vehicle is dependent on its total weight. HMT consistently pursues this lightweight approach and takes it into account during process and product development. Studies show that the proportion of lightweight materials - now at a little more than 30% in the multi-material mix - will increase to around two thirds in the next ten to fifteen years.
There are some really lightweight materials such as carbon, but this is relatively expensive and is generally used only as a niche product and in the high-price segment. For large series and affordable mass models, working with carbon on a grand scale is not appropriate for cost reasons. In addition, it's hard to recycle. For this reason, most manufacturers still use materials such as steel, aluminium, and magnesium, or include elements that consist of a needs-based flexible mix of these components.
Growing demands on joining technology
Consequently, the requirements placed upon joining technology - one of the core skills of HMT - are also increasingly complex. The optimum joining of different materials to create components that are strong enough to withstand high stresses requires lots of know-how and a broad range of technologies. Above all, the joining of steel and aluminium has become important in this respect. Here, it can be necessary to use a combination of self-piercing rivets and bonding in order to achieve the required mechanical strengths during production. In addition, the precisely dosed application of adhesive ensures the electrochemical decoupling of the individual elements to suppress corrosion between the parts to be joined. In certain usage cases, even better protection is achieved by means of an additional partial coating. This also shortens further processing times for our customers.
Modern joining technology is one of the core skills of HMT. With our know-how and machine pool, we can bond, rivet, screw, and laser-weld components made of different materials reliably and durably.