13 September 2021

"Lightweight is always more useful."

Dr. Nick den Uijl, researcher and Automotive Engineering lecturer at the Arnhem and Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences (HAN) is convinced of the benefits of lightweight bodywork and trailer assembly.

During a tour of the HAN Automotive campus, Den Uijl talks enthusiastically about his new research project, Multitec. The project focuses on lightweight design and construction for bodywork and trailer assembly through the application of a multi-material strategy. The project will also investigate different fastening methods: welding, screwing or bonding.

What can we expect of the Multitec research project?

The project will answer the question of how bodywork and trailer assembly can profit from the application of multi-materials. Multi-materials include different types of aluminum and steel, as well as composites. The project will also investigate different fastening methods: welding, screwing or adhesion.

More information

The research will be conducted in three phases:

  1. The first phase focuses on the management aspects.
  2. The second phase will cover the mechanical properties of structures.
  3. During this phase, we investigate the design rules.

These three aspects were chosen because they are consistent with market demand.

Would you like to know more about bonding technology?

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How do we translate the results in terms of business operations?

The research is designed primarily to provide more insight: insight into the opportunities that lightweight design and construction with multi-materials offer for bodywork and trailer assembly. What needs to be invested for this and which adjustments of the business process does it require?  

Endurance tests with road surface simulator

Vehicles have an average service life of 15 to 17 years. Endurance tests help to provide an insight into the long-term effects of certain loads. During the two-year project, a test set-up aimed at fatigue research into structural parts will be realized on the road surface simulator at HAN. The test results should lead to design rules.

Workshops with SME’s

During the project, regular workshops will be organized to share the results of the research with the parties taking part, including SABA. The aim is to strengthen the network between HAN and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s). According to Den Uijl, the knowledge resulting from the research can help your customers in the development of a modern, lightweight vehicle for the future.

Michel Menting, SABA’s Technical Product Manager Transportation and European Adhesive Engineer (EAE), is involved in the Multitec project. For more information on the research, please contact Dr. den Uijl.

"I am convinced that lightweight is always more useful. Lightweight vehicles offer a host of advantages. It means less fuel consumption, better in energetic terms, more space to store goods, better aerodynamics, the ability to move off faster, more flexibility and less of a burden on the infrastructure. But the sector is not ready for this (yet). Not all parties in the business column see the advantages. For the time being, the costs appear to outweigh the benefits."

Dr. ir. Nick den Uijl

Dr. Nick den Uijl, researcher and Automotive Engineering lecturer at the Arnhem and Nijmegen University of Applied Sciences (HAN)


Please tell us more about the HAN Automotive course …

During the HAN Automotive course in Arnhem, the students get to know about all facets of the automotive industry. They are trained as Automotive Engineers, for example. There are different levels: AD (Associate Degree), BSc (Bachelor of Science) and MSc (Master of Science).

Close attention is paid here to projects for customers from the industry. In this way, the theoretical knowledge can be applied in practice right away. One of these projects is the Multitec research project, in which SABA is involved as a partner from the business sector in the field of adhesion technology.

Hey, that’s a familiar sight …

That is indeed the HAN Hydromotive. The vehicle has a hydrogen-based drive system. And your adhesive is used as a bonding technology.

HAN Hydromotive

Then please download our free infographic. This infographic shows the advantages of bonding compared with welding and screwing at a glance.