Type: Active Collaborative Project

Partners: Jaguar Land Rover, Far-UK, Stadco, Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK, Scott Bader Company, Autotech Engineering R&D UK, Granta Design, TWI, University of Warwick – WMG

The automotive industry faces major challenges to meet targets for emissions, efficiency, performance and cost. Llightweighting of parts using composites enables all of these to be addressed, except for cost. A key driver of the cost of composites is the limited ability and capacity in the joining technology available. In project Light-Join, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Nissan and their Tier 1 suppliers aim to develop a number of solutions that will enable cost effective integration of high-performance composite components into volume car production. Light-Join aims to enable replacement of specific metal vehicle components with composites, specifically focussed on developing rapid joining solutions, raising the manufacturing maturity to produce a small scale demonstrator component (MRL5) and assessing the potential for scale-up to MRL9A. This project will develop a solution leading to 30% weight reduction for all-aluminium construction (for JLR) and 60% compared to an all-steel construction (for Nissan). This approach will have industry-wide applicability, allowing a lower risk introduction of lightweight composite components to the mass market. Granta is providing an enterprise-level materials information database to support the selection of joining methods, along with full traceability from initial trials through to material card generation.