Leicester facility to help optimise hybrid structures for automotive sector

The ASDEC – The Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre –  facility has announced that it is part of a successful winning bid for £1.4million R&D funding from Innovate UK working in a team with other companies to optimise hybrid structures for the automotive sector.

With low emissions and increased efficiency driving future automotive development, manufacturers are increasingly relying on using multi material (hybrid) structures to offer a cost-effective weight reduction. This will benefit both a reduction in raw materials used in production and improve vehicle efficiency.

The Hybrid Automotive Lightweight Optimisation (HALO) project will look into optimising this multi material approach to maximise the potential of each material and component within the structure of the vehicle, as opposed to the current trend of direct replacement from one material to another.

Commenting on the award, Tim Stubbs, ASDEC General Manager, said: “HALO is exactly the kind of project for which ASDEC was established, working at the cutting edge of automotive materials testing and analysis. Our unique set up of Robotised Laser Doppler Vibrometer and the ability to provide in-depth analysis of results will give the HALO team unparalleled insight into new hybrid structures and their performance to make them ready for real world applications.”

Professor Sarah Hainsworth, Director of ASDEC said: “I am delighted to be working on this new collaboration with industry in the composites area.  3D laser Doppler vibrometry is a non-contact technique which is particularly important for measuring composites where the additional mass from more traditional techniques such as transducers would fundamentally change the vibration of these lightweight structures.  Light weighting is such an important technology for cars where savings of even a 100g of mass in a car can save tonnes of CO2 emissions when the number of cars in a fleet is considered."

 A video about research at ASDEC is available here: