Products and solutions, 2004-10-26, 02:00 AM
Light, lighter, titanium sandwich panels: Deutsche Titan presents new solution for lightweight designs
The rigidity of a component is determined by the strength and thickness of the material used and the shape and dimensions of the component itself. Whether and when a component bends under load can be calculated exactly for a particular application. When it comes to garnering attention for a product at a trade fair, however, demonstrations are much more effective than calculations: that`s why at Euroblech in hall 14, booth F 14, Deutsche Titan GmbH will be showing how a one-square meter titanium sandwich panel consisting of two 0.5 millimeter thin sheets supported at its four corners can withstand the weight of a fully grown man without noteworthy deflection.
The secret of this demonstration lies firstly in the high strength of the commercially pure titanium from which the two sheets of the sandwich panel are made and secondly in a special honeycomb texture through which both sheets support each other. This texture has been patented for the company borit® Leichtbau-Technik. It ensures that the sandwich panel, weighing only 4.5 kilograms, displays the same rigidity as a five-times thicker single titanium sheet weighing five times as much.
This development is of interest for applications which require high strength and extremely low weight. On these counts, the titanium sandwich panel is comparable to fiber composites. Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences is currently carrying out a development project using titanium sandwich panels for a self-supporting automotive floor assembly. The titanium sandwich panel could also be used in the aerospace sector, where every gram of weight counts.
The product was created when Deutsche Titan GmbH discovered hydromechanical forming for its material: the borit® texture is embossed into the titanium sheets by this process. The sheet is pressed by water into a hollow mold until it takes on the contours of the mold, in this case the honeycomb texture. Hydromechanical processes are particularly suitable for forming titanium because in conventional deep drawing the material tends to adhere to the press tooling due to friction.
The two parts of the titanium sandwich panel on display at Euroblech are joined by adhesive bonding, but laser welding is also possible. Other possibilities are three-sheet panels in which a third sheet without borit® honeycombs gives the panel a smooth surface, a composite panel of plastic and titanium, or a sandwich design with a viscoelastic intermediate layer for sound insulation.
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