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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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Automated and resource-efficient production of thermoplastic composites for lightweight applications in the automotive industry, based on the example of a seat structure.
Automated and resource-efficient production of thermoplastic composites for lightweight applications in the automotive industry, based on the example of a seat structure.

At the upcoming IAA 2017 – the 67th International Motor Show to be held from September 14-24 in Frankfurt, Germany – the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH University will present some of the research projects focused on plastics in automobile construction.

Under the motto "Automotive-Land Nordrhein-Westfalen", the Ministry for Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) will bring together 11 institutes and companies on a joint stand.

IKV will bundle its research topics in the field of automotive into four main areas, namely: development of hybrid parts, solutions for lightweight construction, product development with complex materials, and process development in injection molding.

The "Development of hybrid parts" area will cover the customized production of functionalized thermoplastic fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) lightweight parts through combination with additive manufacturing, the integrated thermoforming and backmolding of sheet metal in the injection molding tool, and the design and production of hybrid plastic/metal structural parts, based among other things on the example of a near-series production front-end.

"Solutions for lightweight construction" are varied and inherent to plastics. Under this aspect, IKV will present research topics from the field of FRP. Specifically, there will be an interactive repair workshop of the future for electric vehicles built with CRP as part of the project "Leading technologies for SMEs", the efficient production of complex FRP components by 3D fiber spraying with local TowPreg reinforcement, and the prediction of the damage behavior and design of FRP in the event of a crash and under fatigue stress.

In the third area, "Product development with complex materials", IKV will demonstrate the integrative simulation of the mechanical behavior of short and long fiber reinforced thermoplastic parts, material and process development for the production of mobile fuel cells with plastics-based bipolar plates, and the direct and indirect additive manufacturing of plastics parts.

The fourth topic "Process developments in injection molding" will cover the production of complex plastic optical components, taking as an example an LED primary optic made of liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and the multi-layer process, as well as the integrated metal/plastic injection molding process and the "ProFoam" physical foam injection molding process.

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