A large number of static and dynamic tests on the technology demonstrator components served as a reliable data basis for assessing the potential of HDF technology. The effects of post-treatment on the component properties were also examined by means of simulations and experiments, in order to ensure optimized heat treatment to achieve the desired mechanical component properties.
The design of a plant concept for the integration of HDF technology into a large-scale production environment constitutes the successful completion of an important step within the project from laboratory scale to series production. For this purpose, a process facility, including all equipment, preparation and supply units, and associated handling systems, was virtually realized using the example of the manufactured tube node, taking into account cycle times in the large-scale series production of vehicles. Based on this virtual representation of the overall facility, it was possible to evaluate the manufacturing costs and the environmental balance, and to determine general suitability for large-scale series production with the assistance of the end user from the automotive industry.
In this way, the foundation has been laid for the establishment of HDF technology in large-scale production applications. This is supported by the final evaluation of the component characteristics achieved, which show that HDF technology represents a great opportunity for energy- and resource-efficient lightweight construction. In the years to come, this technology can make a major contribution to ensuring that complex (structural) components, made of high-strength aluminum alloys, that cannot be manufactured cost-effectively, if indeed at all, can be widely used in series production and thus enable ultra-lightweight metal construction.