New tests and computer simulation methodologies for electric vehicle chassis weight reduction

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· The objective of the Fatigue4Light project is to optimise the selection of new materials and reduce the implementation time for these solutions

· The project innovation is expected to reduce vehicle chassis’ weight compared to existing solutions

The Center for Structural Integrity, Reliability and Micromechanics of Materials (CIEFMA), a research group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), takes part in the Fatigue4Light project (Fatigue modelling and fast testing methodologies to optimise part design and to boost lightweight materials deployment in chassis parts) focused on the development of new tests and computer simulation methods to better estimate the fatigue life of chassis components and to select the optimal materials for lighter vehicle chassis.

The project started in February 2021 and will work for four years on the application of new materials tailored to the requirements of vehicle chassis, such as advanced high-strength steels, special automotive stainless steels, high-strength aluminium alloys and hybrid metal-fibre reinforced polymeric materials.

New chassis materials could make electric vehicles 30 % lighter

The goal is to reduce vehicle chassis weight compared to the current solutions, considering eco-design and circular economy aspects. The project’s results will optimise the selection of new materials and reduce the implementation time between material development and the design of a new chassis part.

CIEFMA-UPC contributes to the Fatigue4Light project with its scientific equipment and expertise in the fields of fatigue, fracture, failure analysis, instrumented indentation and advanced microstructural characterization.

The International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), a consortium of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, takes also part in the project with the role of coordinators.

Positive impact on CO2 emissions, electric vehicle autonomy, driveability and security

The project wants to help build a zero-emissions future by promoting design based on numerical simulation tools. The application of numerical simulation tools at a design stage can help to predict and ensure part performance and minimise production losses by meeting the industry's needs.

Fatigue4Light is one of the first projects tackling weight reduction in automotive chassis parts, a necessary step to further progress in electric vehicle weight reduction or lightweighting.

Horizon 2020 funding plan

Fatigue4Light is funded by the Horizon 2020 European Union Funding for Research & Innovation with a total budget of 4.900.916,13 euros.

The consortium of the project is formed by Eurecat, the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), the Research and Innovation Centre of Sweden (RISE), the Lulea University of Technology, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), the Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), ArcelorMittal, Profilglass, Centre Ricerche Fiat (CRF), Magnetto Wheels (MW), Composite Service Europe, Gestamp and the Spanish Association for Standardisation UNE.

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