Daimler and University of Stuttgart team up on automotive composites

Researchers will be working in the ARENA2036 (Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles) Research Campus project at the University of Stuttgart. Alongside the University of Stuttgart and Daimler, representatives from the worlds of business and science in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, are involved in the Research Campus, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

At the Institute for Aircraft Design we have been developing fibre-reinforced lightweight construction structures for aviation for many years now. Our research focuses on preform technology/liquid composite moulding and the virtual representation of the entire process chain, offering high transfer potential for the automotive industry. Together with Daimler, in the future we primarily want to investigate faster and more cost-effective procedures in order to meet the challenges of large-scale production with new technologies.
Professor Peter Middendorf, Head of the Institute for Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart

In order to support the activities planned by the Research Campus, Daimler and the University of Stuttgart have signed an additional long-term cooperation agreement. This involves doctoral candidates and employees from the Institute for Aircraft Design carrying out joint research with lightweight construction experts from Daimler into the production, simulation and design of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) components.

Lightweight construction at Daimler

Lightweight construction is an integral component of Daimler’s strategy. One of the company’s development aims is to reduce the body weight of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles by approximately 10% compared with predecessor models.

In order to achieve this goal, Daimler is concentrating on developing new technologies based on the principle of using "the right material in the right place."

"An intelligent material mix and lightweight construction have been an integral part of Mercedes-Benz vehicle construction for decades," says Professor Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability; Chief Environmental Officer, Daimler AG.

"In addition to high-strength steels we also use other materials in order to reduce the weight of our vehicles and thus further enhance efficiency. We are confident about the intelligent use of FRP/CRP components – always in accordance with the principle "the right material in the right place." The challenge is to use FRP and also CRP in the series-production vehicle in such an economically efficient manner that the overall costs remain attractive for the customers. We are addressing this together within the framework of our cooperation."

The ARENA2036 Research Campus

In the ARENA2036 Research Campus, scientists and other experts carry out fundamental research into lightweight construction technologies and production models for the car of the year 2036, the 150th anniversary of the invention of the automobile.