In many fields, highly innovative lightweight construction concepts are required whose specifications can no longer be met by one material alone. In addition to lightweight construction using fiber-reinforced plastics and aluminum-steel hybrids, plastic-aluminum hybrid construction in particular has a high potential for weight reduction.
There are already many applications for plastic-metal hybrids that can be divided into post-mold assembly (PMA) and in-mold assembly (IMA). With PMA, both joining partners are manufactured separately and joined in an additional process step, compared to IMA, where the primary shaping and joining of the second component are combined in one process step. In both cases, the bond is usually achieved by a macroscopic form-fit bond, which requires appropriate preparation of the metallic semi-finished products. This is associated with the consequence of long process chains and the necessity of extensive plant engineering.
The Multi-Component High Pressure Die Casting process (M-HPDC), developed at the Foundry Institute, offers the possibility to realize the primary shaping of both a metal and a plastic component in the same die and on only one production machine. The Foundry Institute is equipped with a Frech DAK 450-40 die casting machine, which has been extended by an Arburg Allrounder 570S injection molding unit, enabling both materials to be processed on a single system.
Current research focuses in particular on the quantification of different factors influencing the bond strength between aluminum and plastic. In particular, the very different temperature requirements during the processing of the two materials require a very distinctive understanding of the process. Since many influencing factors (spraying process, cycle time, process continuity, etc.) have an impact on the temperature balance in the cavity and in the aluminum substrate, a comprehensive interconnection of the production cell takes place within the framework of the DFG-funded cluster of excellence "Internet of Production" (IOP). This way, a determination of influencing and disturbing variables based on machine and sensor data will be possible and can be used prospectively as an intermediate reaction to disturbance variables. The benefits of integrating process data logging within process development of M-HPDC will be shown.