Mercedes and Stuttgart University to Share Research on Future Automotive Design Technology
In the future, researchers from the fields of business and science will be working in the ARENA2036 Research Campus project at the University of Stuttgart on topics related to “flexible production and function-integrated lightweight construction”. The aim of the consortium is to dovetail product-oriented lightweight construction development with production research right from the outset. Alongside six institutes at the University of Stuttgart and Daimler, numerous further representatives from the worlds of business and science in Baden-Württemberg are involved in the long-term Campus, which is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
In order to support the activities planned by the Research Campus, Daimler and the University of Stuttgart yesterday 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 fundamental matters in the field of production, simulation and design of FRP/CRP lightweight construction components.
According to Professor Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability; Chief Environmental Officer Daimler: “An intelligent material mix and lightweight construction have been an integral part of Mercedes-Benz vehicle construction for decades. 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.”
Professor Peter Middendorf, Head of the Institute for Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, remarked: “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.”
Signing of Cooperation contract between the Institute for Aircraft Design and Daimler. Left to right: Prof. Dr. Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability; Chief Environmental Officer Daimler; Prof. Dr. Wolfram Ressel, rector of the university of Stuttgart; Prof. Dr. Peter Middendorf, Head of the Institute for Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart.
The right material in the right place
Lightweight construction is an integral component of Daimler’s strategy to reduce the body weight of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles by approximately 10 percent compared with the predecessor models. This means that fuel efficiency can be improved even further, and emissions cut even more. In order to achieve this goal, Daimler is concentrating on developing new technologies – based on the principle “the right material in the right place”.
The ARENA2036 Research Campus
In ARENA2036 (Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles), scientists and other experts carry out fundamental research into lightweight construction technologies and production models for the car of the future in the year 2036, the 150th anniversary of the invention of the automobile.