Taking nature as an example to lighten commercial vehicles

Bionic design means nothing different than taking nature as an example for the design development for components. At GF Casting Solutions we build upon our expertise in bionic design to achieve even more weight reduction for our cast components. For commercial vehicles, this is a real challenge especially because of the tremendous forces that are exerted on the components. Our bionic wheel hub shows that it is still possible to reduce weight by 13%.

 

"With bionic design, we have found a way how we can design sophisticated structures which are thin-walled but still stiff and durable."

-Dominik Mahnig

As the wheel hub connects the rim and the axle of the vehicle, it is heavily stressed by vertical, lateral and braking forces. For many manufacturers, this is the reason why it is made of cast iron. At GF Casting Solutions, we developed a wheel hub for commercial vehicles made of ductile iron and, inspired by nature, featured it by special gaps and ribs which makes the new wheel hub much lighter than its predecessor. Its weight could be reduced by 4.8kg to a total weight of 33.3kg.

In addition to weight reduction – amounting to as much as 50 kilograms per truck – the bionic wheel hub offers another advantage. The gaps and channels improve air circulation, which supports brake cooling.

Thanks to computer programs, Dominik Mahnig’s team could calculate where less material could be used without impacting stability. In multiple iterative rounds, the wheel hub arrived at a shape with organic-style holes, gaps and ribs. An enormous advantage is not only the weight reduction but the accompanying cost reductions due to a lower fuel consumption and a higher payload of the vehicle.

 

 

 

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Contact

Dominik Mahnig

Head of Product Management & Development

GF Casting Solutions AG

Amsler-Laffon-Strasse 9

8201 Schaffhausen

Switzerland

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Research and Development

With the central Research and Development team, located in Switzerland and China, GF Casting Solutions provides an outstanding know-how and experience in lightweight design and process optimization for highly complex castings.

Commercial Vehicles

The global need for low emission transportation is rising: Electrification and alternative drives or new logistics – we support our customers in the development and production of high-complex lightweight components to continuously reduce weight.

Iron Casting

With our two iron casting foundries located in China and Germany we realize high-quality lightweight automotive and truck solutions as well as rather heavy but flexible designs for construction equipment, renewable energies, agriculture and forestry machinery.