Lightweight technology is a philosophy for design engineering and production that seeks to reduce weight and promote the sustainable use of materials and resources.
Lightweighting shows strong potential for reducing energy requirements. Lighter vehicles require less energy to drive and it needs less material resources to make.
Less mass and material also leads to a reduction of CO2 emissions offering an additional ecological benefit.
There are many more ways to reduce weight than simply replacing metal with materials such as fiber reinforced plastics. Design strategies can also find ways to use a single part for multiple purposes or to eliminate unnecessary functions. Another way to reduce weight is to focus on load specific engineering which imitates natural structures by using materials only where they are necessary.
CO2 reduction and material efficiency with lightweight technology helps create a sustainable future for our children. The lightweight technology sector shows huge economic potential with a market volume of hundreds of billions of euros and the chance to create tens of thousands of new jobs. The triad of design, process and simulation offers value for customers and brings lower costs for producers.
Baden-Württemberg offers the entire production chain required for intelligent lightweight technology – everything required to develop this groundbreaking technology from research and development to construction, simulation, manufacturing and production is found here. The region's industries and researchers cover everything from production technology/automation, CAE/simulation and fiber composites as well as lightweight metal construction and plastics technology.
The trend in lightweight is moving towards multi-material design. This involves combining different materials and using them where they perform best. Put simply, the idea is to use the right material in just the right amount in the right place. New approaches have led to unique projects such as a high-tech bridge constructed out of fiberglass in combination with and high performance concrete.