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TWO INDUSTRIES ‒ ONE GOAL Stahlinstitut VDEh Industrieverband Massivumformung e. V. (IMU) Industrieverband Massivumformung e. V. (IMU)

Research for “Lightweight Forging” Continues

Press release issued by the University of Bremen - Large research network funded by the Federation of Industrial Cooperative Research Associations (AiF) approved

The lighter a car is, the less fuel it consumes - a simple equation. However, to ensure that a car is safe, offers optimum protection in the event of an accident and remains in a good condition for a long time, its components need to be more than just light - they also need to be high strength. A key technology in achieving this is lightweight design using steel which, until now, has often been limited to application in the car body. With financing from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) via the Federation of Industrial Cooperative Research Associations "Otto von Guericke" e.V. (AiF), an ambitious project will begin on May 1, 2015 across Germany. It was generated from an ideas competition entitled "Leading Technologies for SMEs" and will be coordinated by the Research Association for Steel Application (Forschungsvereinigung Stahlanwendung e. V. - FOSTA) and the Production Technicians from the Institute for Materials Technology (Institut für Werkstofftechnik - IWT) at the University of Bremen. The goal of the "Lightweight Forging" research network is to use new steel materials, part design and production methods to make even the car powertrain - from the engine to the transmission and wheel bearings - lighter and yet still able to fulfil the most stringent requirements with regard to service life.

"We are very pleased about the possibilities which will open up to us through the funding of the new research network. We are optimistic that we will continue to improve the image of steel in matters of lightweight design," says Professor Hans-Werner Zoch, Managing Director of the IWT and Professor of Materials Technology at the University of Bremen. "When one thinks of lightweight design in a car, it is aluminium, rather than steel, which springs to mind. Yet steel is much more resource-efficient than aluminium both in terms of production and recycling, and it offers great development potential." The idea for the new project of the "Lightweight Forging" research network is to continue the initiative of the same name financed by numerous steel manufacturers and automotive suppliers. Here, leveraging existing lightweight design potential for the powertrain resulted in weight savings of 42 kg in a medium-sized car. Based on this, new ideas have been generated for further reducing weight by means of material, production and design measures.

Others involved in the research network are: the Department of Ferrous Metallurgy (Institut für Eisenhüttenkunde - IEHK), Aachen (Prof. Wolfgang Bleck), the Gear Research Centre (Forschungsstelle für Zahnräder und Getriebebau - FZG), Munich (Prof. Karsten Stahl), the Chair of Metalworking and Casting Technology (Lehrstuhl für Umformtechnik und Gießereiwesen - utg), Munich (Prof. Wolfram Volk), the Institute for Metal Forming Technology (Institut für Umformtechnik - IFU), Stuttgart (Prof. Mathias Liewald), the Institute of Machining Technology (Institut für Spanende Fertigung - ISF), Dortmund (Prof. Dirk Biermann), the Institute of Forming Technology and Lightweight Construction (Institut für Umformtechnik und Leichtbau - IUL), Dortmund (Prof. A. Erman Tekkaya), the Institute for Forming Technology and Forming Machines (Institut für Umformtechnik und Umformmaschinen - IFUM), Hannover (Prof. Bernd-Arno Behrens), the Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (Rheinisch-Westfälische Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung - RWI), Essen (Prof. Christoph M. Schmidt), the Institute for Automotive Engineering (Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge - ika), Aachen (Prof. Lutz Eckstein) as well as 58 industry partners from steel manufacturing, forging, heat treatment and the automotive industry. The applications of the research network were submitted under the auspices of the Research Association for Steel Application (Forschungsvereinigung Stahlanwendung e.V. - FOSTA), Düsseldorf, together with the Association for Heat Treatment and Materials Technology (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wärmebehandlung und Werkstofftechnik e. V. - AWT), Bremen, the Research Association for Power Transmission Engineering (Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V. - FVA), Frankfurt, and the Research Association for Steel Forming (Forschungsgesellschaft Stahlverformung e.V. - FSV), Hagen.

You can find additional information on the "Lightweight Forging" industry initiative here: http://www.massiverleichtbau.de/

Editorial Offices please note: At the university press office, an image relevant to the topic may be requested.

Further information and contact partner:
University of Bremen and the Foundation Institute of Materials Science Bremen
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Werner Zoch
Dr.-Ing. Rainer Tinscher
Tel: +49 421 218-51302
E-Mail: tinscher@iwt-bremen.de
Isabell Harder (Public Relations)
Tel.: +49 421 218 51188
E-Mail: harder@iwt-bremen.de

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