European Aluminium commissioned a research project from fka GMBH in Aachen regarding the use of aluminium in future trucks. The cabin door of a Volvo FH was chosen as reference assembly to be investigated since the cabin door is a hang-on part and therefore easily integrable into the current steel design of truck cabins. Furthermore, it has high stiffness requirements, which are similar for all OEMs, and allows the implementation of aluminium sheet, extrusion as well as casting applications.
The basic idea of the aluminium door concept is the combination of aluminium casting and extrusion components to form a rigid reinforcement structure, which complies with the inner panel sheet geometry of the reference door. The concept envisages that the door beams, i.e. crash beam and inner belt beam, are made of aluminium extrusions while the reinforcements in the front and rear area, i.e. hinge and lock area, are realised as aluminium castings.
This concept door is performing better than the steel reference door for all considered load cases while achieving a weight reduction of more than 40% compared to the steel reference components.
More details of the study can be found here.