ComMUnion – Net-Shape Joining Technology to Manufacture 3D Multi-Materials Components Based on Metal Alloys and Thermoplastic Composites.
Technological Centre: AIMEN
Sector: Automotive and aeronautics
Clients and/or partners: AIMEN CENTRO TECNOLÓGICO (Spain); AUTOTECH ENGINEERING SL (Spain); AFPT GMBH (Germany); NEW INFRARED TECHNOLOGIES SL (Spain); TECNATOM S.A. (Spain); MOTOFIL – ROBOTICS SA (Portugal); Philips GmbH (Germany); FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V. (Germany); PANEPISTIMIO PATRON (Greece); UNIVERSIDADE DE COIMBRA (Portugal); TOPSOLID (France); ACITURRI ENGINEERING SL (Spain); SYM VOULOI KAI PROIONTA LOGISMIKOU AE (Greece); LUNOVU GMBH (Germany); ESI GROUP (France); TRUMPF PHOTONIC COMPONENTS GMBH (Germany)
Start and end date: Dec 2015 – May 2019
Call for proposals: H2020-FoF-2015 (GA No. 680567)
R+D+i area: New Materials and Advanced Manufacturing
The aim of the ComMUnion project, led by AIMEN is to develop a robotised system for manufacturing 3D metal/thermoplastic carbon fibre composite multi-material components
The system consists of several interconnected, offline software applications that communicate with the manufacturing cell by utilising a Knowledge-Based System to predict the behaviour of the components that are to be manufactured, while also supporting the product design and the robots and cell management.
We have managed to produce a fully robotised prototype cell, consisting of two heads: one for laser texturing and another flexible head for tape placement, incorporating a laser-assisted heating system. Both systems have an in-line surface inspection system for quality control.
The use of this prototype has been demonstrated in the automotive industry, thanks to the participation of the company Gestamp, which applied tapes to the structural components of their vehicles’ bodywork. Aciturri also demonstrated its use in aeronautics, where a new field of research has been opened up, looking to improve both the integration of the components and the aerodynamic benefits.
AIMEN has been involved in the laser texturing and cleaning processes used to modify the material in order to improve the surface adhesion between the composite and the metal, define the characteristics of the metal-composite joints, perform non-destructive inspections of the materials, and design the control systems.
By applying these advanced materials, CoMUnion has helped to reduce the consumption of high-cost and/or critical materials by between 7 and 15%, increase the mechanical performance of the components by up to 30%, and reduce fuel consumption due to a reduction of up to 10-15% in these components’ weight.