POTENTIALS OF LOAD CARRYING CONDUCTOR TRACKS IN NEW VEHICLE STRUCTURES
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Digitization, autonomous driving and lightweight construction are the major future challenges in automotive engineering. This means that more and more complex driver assistance systems, engine control units, infotainment systems, actuators, sensors, etc. must be installed and wired. However, from a lightweight point of view, these cables are additional weight without any structural benefit and only affect the weight balance.
Within this paper a new approach to integrate conductor tracks directly into composite structures is presented. In contrast to conventionally integrated conductor tracks, the conductor tracks which are presented here are designed for load carrying purposes. As a result, the wiring costs, the assembly costs and the weight can be reduced significantly. Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) are used for this purpose, which show great potential for lightweight construction and, due to their layered structure of individual layers, enable the integration of load-bearing conductor tracks.
Instead of conventional copper wires, different metal foils are inserted into the CFRP vehicle structure stack and used as a conductor track. The single layers can be stacked and arranged individually. In this way, the efficiency of the overall structure can be controlled and optimized.
In order to be able to analyze and evaluate the potential of CFRP with structurally integrated conductor tracks, analytical calculations, mechanical tests and investigations of the electrical properties are carried out. Finally, a demonstrator is manufactured to prove the power supply and the bus communication within the CFRP-structure.
KeywordsFunction integration Structure integrated conductor tracks Fiber metal laminates Multifunctional structures
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