The aim of CARpenTiER is the development of production technologies for wood-based hybrid constructions in automotive, systems and mechanical engineering. Applications include hybrid structures made of laminated wood, plywood or strand materials, which can be reinforced with natural fibres. In previous research activities of the consortium, various demonstrators for the mobility sector in multi-material mixed construction have been successfully developed. The results show that 10 to 40% of the dead weight can be saved by using wood-based materials without losing performance. In future this can make a positive contribution to climate goals, as weight reduction has the highest impact on avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.
Although former research work has laid a solid basis in finite element modelling, there is a lack of suitable production technologies for industrial implementation. For this reason, the continuing research programme will focus primarily on process development and process control. Another challenge in using bio-based materials for the intended applications is the control of material variability. In conventional wood applications (e.g. in timber engineering) this is mainly controlled by high safety factors. However, this leads to a reduction in performance. Therefore, the CARpenTiER project aims at wood-based hybrid structures which maximally use the light weight potential of wood. For this purpose, a Computer Aided Research (CAR) approach for function-oriented dynamic process control (function-oriented process control) will be established for future suppliers (= Tiers). Starting from a typical structure (example unit), which includes as many criteria and requirements (functions) of a complex hybrid component for the automotive industry as possible, a process control system will be established. Both, process and component are represented as digital twins (i.e. digital reproduction of product and process). The chosen approach is thus a combination of material and process step simulation. To control the processes, it is necessary to identify raw material and process parameters for each process step that have an influence on the defined functions of the component. This control loop of the processes thus corresponds to the individual material treatment by an experienced specialist or craftsman (e.g. carpent(i)er), who always considers the result and thus the fulfilment of the function during the different process steps. In contrast to the experience-based and intuitive decision making of humans in manufacturing processes, every decision step in the digital process control of an industrial production must be based on physical models. This makes the processes economically efficient, controllable and reproducible.
CARpenTiER will enable a virtual representation of real processes and thus automate human knowledge in individual material processing. In addition to material mastery, an increase in technical efficiency and yield is expected. In addition to these advantages, CARpenTiER will also offer possibilities for material and process documentation, process optimization and quality assurance. The creation of digital twins, both at process and component level, is also expected to lead to significant progress in the field of finite element modelling. CARpenTiER is thus the consistent continuation of the knowledge-based engineering of wood-based hybrid components by means of material simulation, which was started with the WoodC.A.R. research project. In addition to the technical design, predictability and calculability of wood-based hybrid components, production processes should now also be made predictable and controllable. Furthermore, suitable methods for forming, coating, joining, gluing and modifying are to be found and adapted or developed in the field of process engineering.
The project CARpenTiER "Modelling, Production and further Processing of Eco-Hybrid Structures and Materials" is funded within the framework of COMET - Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies by BMK, BMAW and the Province of Styria. The COMET program is managed by the FFG.