Development of hybrid plastic/magnesium-composite materials for ultra-light weight applications

Non-ferrous metals play an increasingly important role in the implementation of lightweight construction. Thus the density of magnesium is less than a quarter of the density of steel. Because of their overall good mechanical properties and their low weight, magnesium wrought alloys are becoming more and more important. By the functionalisation with plastics plastic/magnesium-hybrid components can be produced in which the two completely different material properties can be specifically combined. Thus, lightweight and highly loadable structures with high functional density can be produced in order to realise the lightweight construction objectives required in the industry. Particularly in the case of material-compatible combination, the described synergy effects will exceed the performance of closed metal components at a lower weight. Furthermore, compared to fiber-reinforced plastics, when using magnesium, the metallic properties can be further utilised. Metallic haptics are therefore important for high-quality electronic devices e. g. in the field of consumer electronics.

Research objective

The aim of this cooperation project is the development of hybrid plastic/magnesium composite materials and the processing technology in an integrated deep drawing and injection moulding process. For this purpose, a suitable joining technique for the plastic-magnesium connection has to be developed. In addition, mould concepts for the allocation of the magnesium wrought alloy as well as for the integrated forming of the magnesium and primary forming of the plastic component are to be identified for the new hybrid material. A major consideration here is the short-term heating of the magnesium component to the necessary forming temperature of 225 - 325 °C.

The efficiency of the manufacturing process of hybrid plastic/metal-hybrid components is decisively determined by the number of process steps required. The process-safe integrative production of these hybrid components has a direct effect on unit costs by saving process steps.

The combined deep drawing and injection moulding process enables the efficient manufacturing of lightweight and mechanically highly loadable structural components, by deep drawing a metal component and subsequently functionalising it with plastic. A further objective of this cooperation project is the adaptation of the combined process to the boundary conditions of magnesium wrought alloys as the metal component.

Project partners

Malte Röbig, M.Sc.

Head of department Injection Moulding +49 241 80-93827 malte.roebig@ikv.rwth-aachen.de