Lightweight Solutions based on DDM Technology

28 Aug 2009

Melotte supports the Belgian Solar team

Market Release: The economical climate has positive effects on the way people look at our developments, in the past few weeks we’ve run multiple projects based on weight-saving programs. Although most of them are “not for publication” we’re proud to highlight a project for the next generation automotive industry, the one focusing on Solar cars…. Melotte supports the Belgian Solar team since many years, at this year’s edition we’ve done two important projects. The first one is another weight saving project on magnetic in-wheel motor, this is a pure multitask milling project, the second one is full DDM project and contributes substantially on this year’s challenge to minimize excess material.
In the past the team used a conventional steering wheel made out of aluminum, the raw material (4,5 Kg) was milled down to a basic geometry. Given the tight space in Solar car’s cockpit the conventional steering wheel did not feel comfortable. Driving the car down-under in extreme climate conditions pushed the engineers to develop a mono-block full titanium light-weight steering wheel. Based on FEA analysis’s we’ve come to the conclusion that we could hollow-out the part and take the walls down to 0,8 mm. All this results in a huge weight saving, above we’ve been able to reduce Buy-To-Fly ratio’s from 4,5 Kg (conventional milled) to 0,3 Kg, DDM based on layer manufacturing. Another good example of Carbon Footprint optimization and more precise a raw material saving of about 90%. Finally we’ve realized a nice piece of engineering and we wish the Solar Team all the best during The World Solar Challenge in Australia!
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