The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical engineering of the University of Liege develops advanced technologies and innovative engineering solutions based on the following fundamental disciplines:
Continuous media mechanics, dynamics, materials science, energy conversion and applied mathematics with special attention to the fields of the following applications: aeronautics and space technology, land vehicles, mechanical engineering, energy systems, biomechanical engineering. Continuing the legacy of the LTAS (AeroSpace Laboratory), the department has acquired an international reputation in the development of advanced numerical simulations, with the numerical modelling forming the spine of many studies and researches. The methodological approach of the research developed in the A&M department relies heavily on the confrontation between analytical and numerical models and experimentation of the processes and physical phenomena.
The A&M department currently comprises of 24 academics, 4 permanent researchers, and more than 80 researchers and doctoral students. The Automotive engineering research group is interested in the application of technologies developed at LTAS for automotive-specific applications. In particular, the vehicle engineering laboratory is active in:
1. The development of advanced computer design solutions for the lightweighting of vehicles, including composite structures, vehicle dynamics/ transmission line/ powertrain/ design, innovative approach using topological optimization, high-performance electric motor design,
effective simulation of crash
2. Design, development, prototyping and testing of electric drives, hybrid or fuel cell. The vehicle engineering group includes 1 professor and 5 PhD students/ researchers.
Main research activities
– Advanced CAE techniques: simulation and optimization methods for automotive products:
– Lightweight structures
– Flexible MBS
– Development of new propulsion systems: advanced engines, electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems, fuel cell…
ManPower: researchers 5
Laboratory facilities e.g.
– Chassis dynamometers
– Engine and electric traction testbeds
Multi-material gearbox housing for an EV
The automotive engineering group of the University of Liège is the leader of one of the four demo projects in total. In this test case, a gearbox housing of an EV, originally made of aluminium, is investigated so that it can be made multi-material, using at least two different materials, aluminium and some kind of plastic.
The goal is to reduce the part’s weight by, at least, 25% and investigate how it could be produced so that the CO2 emissions of the Life Cycle Assessment are reduced.
Multi-material topology optimization is used as a tool in order to give insight into the conception of a new design, using two different materials. It concerns to a mathematical method that optimizes material layout within a given design space, for a given set of loads, boundary conditions and constraints with the goal of maximizing the performance of the system.
The plastic material proposed is a PA6 compounded with SMA (styrene-maleic anhydride) which bonds very well with metallic parts.
The method of the prototyping depends on the available resources and for that reason injection overmolding production method will be simulated and the physical prototype will take place using vacuum casting, a method often used for rapid prototyping.
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