Minimization of Vehicular Energy Demand

Capacity Area A3 concentrates its research on vehicle technologies for minimization of the energy demand excluding the powertrain itself. This includes new routes to high volume lightweight thermoplastics and bioinspired composites. The functional integration of thermal insulation into composites and thermal management of vehicles as a whole will allow further reducing the non-propulsive energy demand.

The advent of new propulsion and energy storage systems is not the only part that will contribute to the required efficiency increase. In addition a substantial reduction of vehicular energy demand is of great importance. This will be addressed by reducing the vehicle mass with novel recyclable lightweight materials and by addressing thermal insulation and thermal management of the vehicle.

Weight reduction offers advantages like improved handling, braking and reduced propulsion power require-ments. This allows the downsizing of other vehicle components (mass decompounding). Biological compo-sites exhibit outstanding mechanical properties due to their exquisite nano-/microstructure at multiple length scales. Related work will focus on realizing bio-inspired hierarchical composites with thermoplastic (and hence recyclable) matrix for high volume manufacturing. Another related topic is “thermal management in-cluding thermal insulation”. Indeed high-end passenger cars may require as much as 12 kW of auxiliary power under worst case conditions, while the average tractive power requirement (NEDC) would range somewhere between 4-8 kW. Similar relationships hold true for rail transportation which requires up to 50% of its power consumption for thermal management.


Prof. Dr. Paolo Ermanni
Head of Laboratory of Composite Materials
and Adaptive Structures at ETH Zürich / 044 633 63 06

ETH Zürich
Laboratory of Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures, IDMS-CMAS
Prof. Dr. Paolo Ermanni, Coordinator

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW
Institut für Kunststofftechnik, IKT
Prof. Clemens Dransfeld, Deputy Coordinator

Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites, LPAC
Prof. Dr. Véronique Michaud

ETH Zürich
Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory, LAV
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos

ETH Zürich
Laboratory for Complex Materials, CML
Prof. Dr. André Studart

Topic: New Routes to lightweight composites

D-A3.1.1.1      Define demonstrator, list of agreed parameters

D-A3.1.1-3.2   Demonstrator(s) of composite parts via proposed routes ready

D-A3.1.4.1      Demonstrator(s) of composite parts via proposed routes benchmarked.

D-A3.2.1         Processing routes for approaches (a)-(c) established and demonstrated.

Topic: Bio-inspired lightweight composites

D-A3.2.2        Microstructural parameter study. Promising approach(es) identified.

D-A3.2.3        Demonstrator parts fabricated and evaluated using promising approach(es).

Topic: Thermal Management

D-A3.3.1       Environmental footprint and hygrothermal performance of insulation strategies.

Master and semester project reports

V. Bersier, Effect of Manufacturing Parameters on Thermo-mechanical Deformation of Composite Structures Using the powerRibs Technology, EPFL Master Thesis in collaboration with B-Comp, March 2016

T. Bouchet, Processing and Characterization of composites with low viscosity thermoplastic matrix, EPFL Master semester project report, June 2015.

R.Triguera, Improved fabric permeability for a melt-RTM process, EPFL Master semester project report, January 2016.