Steel-FRP Hybrids

Lightweight potential and structural optimization of components made of Steel-FRP-Hybrid for the automotive industry

Page 1

In modern car bodies various materials like steel, aluminum, plastics, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) and many others are used in different specifications and volumes. Moreover hybrid solutions are applied with the approach to use the most efficient material at the required location. In particular, the combination of steel and FRP (Steel-FRP-Hybrid) is very promising for the structural members of the auto body and is promoted by the project partner voestalpine. In this regard, the goal of the project is to explore the lightweight potential for this hybrid material solution and to identify relevant components. The following questions have to be answered

  • What are the components for which Steel-FRP-Hybrid makes sense?
  • How should these components look like (topology, shape and dimension)?
  • How should the materials / material parameters be chosen?

Answering these questions is interactive and provides an optimization problem. The objective for this optimization is formed by the weight of the component.

Page 2

The observations focus mainly on plate-shaped components under bending and components which are imperiled to buckling. These components require a high bending stiffness, which can be significantly increased through the use of Steel-FRP-Hybrid compared to pure steel solution.

To determine the potential of weight reduction an analytical methodology is used. Objective functions, constraints and the load are brought into a non-dimensional relationship. By the use of the structural index (also known as structural loading coefficient) a structural optimization and an optimal material selection can be performed.