FAUSST: bridging the gap between steel and fibre reinforced materials
Multi-material design is commonly used within lightweight applications to meet certain design constraints. One common challenge across the different industry fields is the joining of materials of different material classes. Bonding and mechanical joining are generally used to overcome this issue. However, in some application fields, such as in the shipbuilding industry, where the interest of applying fibre-reinforced materials is increasing, these processes are not currently feasible due to regulatory and current technical constraints. One potential solution is FAUSST, a textile based transition joint. FAUSST is a hybrid knitted fabric, which is composed of 100% steel on one side and on the other of 100% glass fibres. The steel side is welded to a flat steel and the transition element is subsequently integrated via lamination processes within a fibre-reinforced component. Afterwards, this component is e.g. joined to a steel structure by welding. Depending on the design of the transition element, loads of up to 120 kN per meter joint can be transferred in the presented design with an overlap length of only 10 mm. This transition element, therefore, may lead to more lightweight designs with smoother surfaces for aesthetical, aerodynamic or hydrodynamic surfaces.
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