Inline-manufacturing of functional cold-rolled profiles with integrated electrical conductors
The substitution of automotive wiring harness, by integrating electrical conductors into structural profiles, enables light weight construction and therefore, saving resources and costs. The economic production process of roll forming is a cost-effective way to manufacture these functional profiles. [Figure 1] shows a demonstration part of a cold-rolled profile with integrated electrical conductors and the layer composition.
The major objective of this research project is to prepare a guideline to manufacture these functional profiles made of steel with integrated electrical conductors. Different material combinations, the forming behavior, relevant process parameters and influencing variables are the intended content of this guideline. Another objective is to develop calculation approaches and design methods that can be used in the future by profile and plant manufactures.
In the first project phase a concept for the simultaneous application of electrical conductors and polymer layers has to be developed. The choice of the polymer and the application method has a great influence on the process speed and hence on the efficiency. The forming behavior of the composite has to be determined by FEM-simulations. These simulations should also help to design rolls for the roll forming stands, which is another work package. Last, an industry-oriented demonstration part has to be developed and the results are to be summarized in a guideline.
The research project is funded by the Forschungsvereinigung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eisen und Metall verarbeitenden Industrie e.V. (AVIF) and supported by the European Cold Rolled Section Association (ECRA).