The Project

Overview

Vehicle manufactures are challenged to meet environmental emissions targets and deliver improved fuel economy to their customers. Research has identified that TWBs (Tailor Welded Blanks ) in HFQ forming offer a very exciting opportunity to reduce significantly redundant material in complex component design, caused by the limitations of the existing available processes. An example is that a conventionally pressed aluminium (Al) car door inner assembly may comprise of up to 4 components and weigh 5.4kg.  Using TWB and HFQ, the reinforced areas can be designed in 2mm aluminium whilst the remainder of the inner is constructed from 1.2mm, a potential weight saving of over 1.2Kg or 22% compared to  an existing best achievable Al door inner. Similar drivers exist in the rail and aerospace industry. This creates business opportunities for cost-effective light-weighting technologies that significantly contribute to environmental objectives. The solutions developed and the UK supplier base established in the LightBlank project will enable the UK automotive, rail and aerospace industries to access advanced light-weighting technology, at the required industrial scale.