Lightweight Engineering

Lightweight Engineering Competence in Saxony

Saxony’s companies and research institutes provide outstanding expertise for “lightweight construction in efficient material combinations”. In doing so they offer all the requisite competences for the entire value creation chain in lightweight construction -ranging from materials development / characterization, to the engineering / calculation / design of components all the way to innovative processing technologies including quality testing.

    

    

Download Competence Atlas Lightweight Construction 2016 / 2017 (Editor: Marketingagentur Reichel, Chemnitz)

Strong R&D clusters

With the Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures (MERGE)” at Chemnitz University of Technology and the Dresden University of Technology’s Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) and  Europe’s two largest R&D centers for lightweight construction are found in Saxony. In 2016, Dresden‘s, Chemnitz‘s and Freiberg‘s Universities of Technology joined their competences within the „Alliance for lightweight construction in Saxony”.

Lightweight Engineering Companies in Saxony

THYSSENKRUPP AG IN KESSELSDORF: TECH CENTER CARBON COMPOSITES + THYSSENKRUPP CARBON COMPONENTS GMBH

Since 2013, the ThyssenKrupp AG has been pooling its activities revolving around high performance lightweight components made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) in its Tech Center Carbon Composites in Kesselsdorf near Dresden. A primary focus of the development work is on production and simulation technologies for a broad range of materials, including hybrid materials made of steel and CFRP.

The main business area of the ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components GmbH, which was founded in 2012 as a joint venture of Thyssen- Krupp and a spin-off of Dresden University of Technology’s Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), is the development and production of such vehicle components as, for example, lightweight CFRP wheels which entail weight savings between 30 and 50 percent when compared to conventional aluminum rims. 

Arbeitsschritt nach dem Beschichten eines BMW i8-Vorderachsenmoduls, BENSELER Beschichtungen Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG, Frankenberg

Source: BENSELER

BENSELER BESCHICHTUNGEN SACHSEN GMBH & CO. KG / BENSELER SACHSEN GMBH & CO. KG, FRANKENBERG

Located in Frankenberg, the BENSELER Group from Baden-Württemberg supports the lightweight automotive construction industry with its innovative coating procedures. The surface specialists protect both the front axle module of the BMW i8 and the undercarriage of the BMW i3 against corrosion. By applying a special cathodic dip coating (CDC) procedure and thanks to the competences that have been developed in the bonding sector, the ready-to-assemble aluminum components can be attached directly to the carbon passenger compartment in the BMW Plant Leipzig. In addition to cathodic dip coating, the BENSELER Beschichtungen Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG also provides electrostatic powder coating and wet coating. The BENSELER Sachsen GmbH & Co. KG specializes in diverse deburring processes.

"InEco®" - Elektroauto entwickelt vom Institut für Leichtbau und Kunststofftechnik (ILK) der Technischen Universität Dresden gemeinsam mit der Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH und der ThyssenKrupp AG

Source: Dresden University of Technology / Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK)

The electric car of the future

... will be light, efficient, and affordable. And it will come from Saxony:

  • Scientists at Dresden University of Technology’s Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) have developed an ultralight e-car together with the Leichtbau-Zentrum Sachsen GmbH and ThyssenKrupp AG corporations. »InEco®« weighs less than 900 kilograms and is designed to delight primarily short-distance drivers in densely populated urban areas. The car consists of steel-CFRP hybrid components. They unite the best properties of both materials, for example, the low weight of CFRP and the high malleability of steel. This creates components which are not only extremely light, but can also absorb a considerable amount of impact energy in the event of a crash.
  • With the »INNVELO® Three,« the ICM – Institut Chemnitzer Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e. V. has developed a three-wheel, lightweight electric vehicle together with its partners from Saxony which was specifically designed for individual trips in densely populated areas and for its use in the small business sector. The vehicle combines the advantages of an electric bicycle (light, inexpensive) with those of an electric car (convenience, cruising range, speed).

COTESA GMBH, MITTWEIDA

The Mittweida-based COTESA GmbH specializes in the production of fiber-reinforced composite components. Since its founding in 2002, the COTESA GmbH has evolved into an important series supplier for many big aerospace companies. Its customers include Airbus, Airbus Helicopters, ESW, and the Diehl Group. COTESA manufactures, for example, extremely lightweight, curved sandwich structures, CFRP profiles, and bulletproof lightweight components. The company possesses state-of-the-art production facilities with a number of autoclaves as well as CNC processing technology and can build components with sizes of up to 8 x 2 meters. 

In den Hallen der EFW – Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH

Source: EFW – Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH

EFW – ELBE FLUGZEUGWERKE GMBH, Dresden

One of the three main business segments of the EFW – Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH Dresden (a company of the ST Aerospace and Airbus Groups) is the development and production of flat composite components made of paper honeycombs and carbon / glass fiber materials for all Airbus models. The product spectrum ranges from floor panels to ceiling panels and cargo compartment linings all the way to bulletproof cockpit doors.  

Triebwerkseinlaufkegel von EAST-4D® Carbon Technology GmbH, Dresden

Source: EAST-4D® Carbon Technology GmbH

EAST-4D CARBON TECHNOLOGY GMBH, DRESDEN

The EAST-4D Carbon Technology GmbH in Dresden is dedicated to the topic lightweight construction with ultramodern procedures. The company develops ideas and project proposals in line with specific customer requirements. Design and approvals are implemented individually in further process steps. For the mass production of ultralight composite structures, the company has developed the filament winding forming and the filament winding injection procedure. These procedures permit the production of both rotating components with complex geometry and nacelles which are exposed to maximum stress. With this patented technology, EAST-4D produces, for example, the jet engine inlet cone for the Airbus A350 900 XWB. 

LEICHTBAU-SYSTEMTECHNOLOGIEN KORROPOL GMBH (LSK), DRESDEN

The Leichtbau-Systemtechnologien KORROPOL GmbH (LSK) is a specialist for innovative lightweight applications in machine and plant construction as well as the aerospace and energy technology sectors. With more than 50 years of experience in fiber composites, KORROPOL is one of the most traditional GFRP and CFRP processing companies in Germany. The production in Dresden focuses primarily on structural components as well as the requisite GFRP forming dies and tools. Through such customers as, for example, BMW, Voith, VEM, Airbus, Volkswagen, and many more, KORROPOL products are found in more than 20 countries around the entire globe. The company’s spectrum encompasses, for example, support structures and robotic hands, machine housings, equipment items for wastewater treatment plants and sewage systems, trim and cladding components for rail technology as well as wall and ceiling panels, design objects, and façade claddings.

FIBER-TECH PRODUCTS GMBH, CHEMNITZ

The Chemnitz-based FIBER-TECH Products GmbH manufactures customer-specific structural components from fiber composite materials (GFRP, CFRP, textile-reinforced ceramics) – for example, rotor blades for wind turbines or elements for improved acoustics in the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin opera house.

We support Saxony.

Harald Krüger

Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG

"Leipzig is an important location within our global production network... Leipzig excel with their superb infrastructure. Here, we also find well educated and highly motivated employees."

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Success Stories

Germany’s only federal cluster of excellence in the field of lightweight construction research - "MERGE" Chemnitz

»Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures (MERGE)« is the name of Germany’s only federal cluster of excellence in the field of lightweight construction research. The cluster is located at Chemnitz University of Technology. Here, scientists from more than 20 institutes of the universities in Chemnitz and Dresden as well as from the Fraunhofer institutes ENAS and IWU are working on a technology merger that has an entirely new quality. The objective is to consolidate the production processes for the processing of metals, plastics, and textiles into one single, mass producible, resource-efficient technology. By integrating micro and nano electronic systems, the scientists also seek to reach a new level of structural intelligence.

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