Short processing times thanks to hybrid castings - ideal for lightweight construction
The field of "hybrid casting" deals with novel joining technologies using cast components. Directly integrated metallic structures or also plastics or fiber structures are used to realize a multi-material design. Directly during the casting process of the metal component, the possibility of material joining is given. This allows innovative components to be realized with savings in production steps, bringing with them various advantages.
Advantages of hybrid and compound casting technology
These advantages of hybrid castings produced using casting processes are primarily in the shortening of the process route compared to sequential manufacturing processes. In the latter, a sequence of many process steps is necessary to produce hybrid components. This means that hybrid cast components are not only perfectly designed to meet their requirements, but are also more cost-effective than differential hybrid assemblies.
Compound casting from aluminum castings in combination with aluminum semifinished products currently occupies a particularly important position. In addition to the above-mentioned advantages, there are additional benefits here due to the use of the same material system; e.g. similar coefficients of thermal expansion or later recycling by type in the sense of a circular economy.
The advantages at a glance:
- Optimized for lightweight construction
- Short process route
- Small installation space
- Various material combinations possible
- Reduction of machine and tool sizes possible compared to pure cast design
By combining this with existing expertise in the field of simulation, simulation models and interface modeling can be built directly for these novel multi-material systems at the same time as they are being developed. This enables a comprehensive consideration of this novel and future-oriented construction method.
Metal-to-metal compound casting for innovative cast components
Cutting-edge composite material systems are increasingly being used in lightweight construction. Classic metals retain a very high status in lightweight construction suitable for large-scale production; the motivation of using materials in a way that is appropriate to the load remains unchanged. Thus, different metals with their individual properties can make a major contribution to lightweight construction as well as to functional integration.
Whereas classic metal-to-metal joining concepts involve a subsequent joining process by welding, adhesive bonding or mechanical joining, the metal-to-metal composite casting concepts for various applications can be implemented directly in the casting process of an aluminum component. In this way, highly integrated, complex multi-material components can be implemented while saving production steps.
Current challenges on the market relate, for example, to the integration of cooling channels in cast components, which are realized by hollow bodies made of aluminum or copper, for example, integrated in the cast component. Different casting processes have different challenges in terms of positioning, connection or stability during the casting process.
The integration of metallic profile or sheet metal structures on cast node elements can also be seen as a current trend in order to realize an alternative production route for highly integrated large cast structures (cf. "Giga casting") in vehicle construction.
The experts at Fraunhofer IFAM have extensive experience in this field and the appropriate plant technology to implement development projects with you close to series production.