Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Sustainable Mobility Center (Centro Nazionale per la Mobilità Sostenibile – CNMS)

SPOKE 11: Innovative Materials and Lightweighting
Description of the Spoke Activities
The use of advanced lightweight materials or the application of the principles of lightweight design (e.g. topological optimization of components) are essential for reducing part mass, and consequently aircraft and vehicle fuel consumptions and emissions while maintaining high safety standards and high performances. Replacing components made of conventional materials with innovative lightweight materials, such as highstrength steels, aluminium, magnesium and titanium alloys, polymeric materials, advanced ceramics and composites, micro-and nanostructured hybrid materials, and smart materials, helps to reduce environmental impacts in view of a more sustainable mobility. For example, 100 kg of weight reduction in a car powered by a combustion or electric engine leads to a reduction in emissions from about 6 to 11 g of CO2/km. On the other hand, as concerning the aeronautic field, considering for instance the Boeing 787, a 20% weight saving implies from 10 to 12% improvement in fuel efficiency.
The use of lightweight materials becomes fundamental for all vehicles but particularly for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, in order to compensate the weight of batteries and electric motors, improving efficiency and increasing range.
At the same time, it is necessary to develop or validate manufacturing methods able to fully exploit the advantages of the advanced lightweight materials and the optimized structures, obtaining components with limited mass and enhanced technical performances. In the same way, the innovative surface modification techniques for materials involved in lightweighting also make it possible to reduce energy dissipation, due to friction for example, and limit the phenomena of in-service degradation (with corresponding pollution effect),
to the benefit of efficiency, reliability and durability.
The development of new or enhanced materials and processes according to the lightweight approaches will contribute to the innovation of Italian manufacturing world, through a smart and inclusive approach, according to the main guidelines resumed in the Italian PNR 2021-2027.
In addition, in agreement with the European Green Deal: Circular and Climate Manufacturing, more sustainable products will be promoted, through the exploitation of bio-based or recycled materials, applying the Circular Economy principles, thus including also reuse, remanufacturing or recovery strategies or zerodefects processes for reducing environmental impacts of the manufacturing for the sustainable mobility.
The integration of components and joints made of innovative lightweight, functional, smart materials in nextgeneration aircrafts and vehicles is essential to reduce costs, increase sustainability in raw material use, recovery and recycling, minimizing environmental impact and supply risk. Achieving these goals requires a multidisciplinary approach that integrates specific skills on: materials, advanced design techniques, modelling and predictive tools such as computational design of materials with improved mechanical and tribological properties, manufacturing processes, innovative characterization methods, taking into due account environmental sustainability.

Bando / Avviso
Decreto Direttoriale n.3138 del 16-12-2021. Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, Missione 4 Componente 2 Investimento 1.4.
Ente finanziatore
Unione europea – NextGenerationEU
Coordinatore scientifico
Data inizio
Data fine
Responsabile CNR
Altro personale CNR