DE-LIGHT Transport Project

DE-LIGHT Transport is a multi-national initiative supported by the European Commission's Framework 6 programme that is investigating the design and manufacturing of lightweight sandwich structures in the marine, rail and freight container industries. 

Sandwich materials, consisting of two thin facings separated by a low density core, can be used to produce structures that are both light and stiff. They also offer opportunities for parts reduction through design integration, improved surface finish and lower assembly and outfitting costs. DE-LIGHT Transport aims to further promote the use of sandwich materials by developing key technologies that will support the practical realisation of robust sandwich designs. Specifically, this will include: 

A multi-material sandwich design tool. Previous work has often focussed on a particular type of sandwich construction (e.g. laser-welded steel or composite). This has tended to yield niche results with limited applicability. DE-LIGHT Transport will implement a more generic design approach that will allow the evaluation and optimisation of a wide range of material and structural mixes according to the requirements of a given application. 

Strategies for joining, assembly and outfitting – the bringing together and integration of separate sandwich panels and/or sub-components to produce finished structures. In particular, modular approaches for the off-line production of sandwich assemblies to exploit economies of scale will be developed 
Testing and validation procedures – to provide accurate and reliable methods of determining fitness for purpose. 

The above technologies will be demonstrated within the project through the design and manufacturing of six prototype structures. These will include deck and deckhouse structures for ships, a rail vehicle cab, and a freight container. Risk-based design principals will be applied throughout to ensure that the new designs comply with existing regulatory frameworks. 

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