Hybrid Material Multi-Piece Wheel/Tireless Wheel
Maxion Wheels, a global manufacturer of automotive wheels and automotive structural components, is looking for new materials and structures for its automotive-related products.
The core of this challenge is to propose ideas or concepts of hybrid materials (= use of multiple materials rather than only one material) that have been under explored or not explored at all throughout our company’s history.
The proposal needs to include a future feasibility study of the materials and structures, as well as consider current automotive regulations and safety requirements (i.e., load, high temperature, impact, corrosion, durability, recycling).
Key Success Criteria
The proposal should focus not only on the material selection but also on the:
- Joining properties
- No adverse effect on the vehicle/wheel performance (e.g., weight, durability)
- Chemical reactivity (e.g., corrosion – steel vs aluminum)
- Mechanical properties (e.g., tensile strength, elongation, etc.)
- Solution that enables assembly/disassembly option
- Lower carbon footprint in production compared to primary aluminum wheel
- Material should allow for painting
- Positive performance on air leakage test
- Option to scale solution
Examples of desirable proposals include, but are not limited to:
- Polymer materials (non-metal)
- Stee/aluminum materials – Joining based on mechanical/chemical bonding (e.g., aluminum disc + steel rim)
- Metal and polymer combinations
- Material(s) to be suitable for both wheel and tire components
All new concepts will be considered, including combinations of different approaches (e.g., lightweight material with anti-corrosion properties; new joint technology of new material with standard automotive steel or aluminum or new manufacturing process of a new material).
Approaches not of interest
Carbon fiber solution.
Items to be submitted
Responses from Maxion Wheels’ employees, as well as external contacts (i.e., companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors) are welcome.
We are looking for a concise abstract/executive summary. The proposal should briefly describe the technical approach and which knowledge gaps you are addressing. It should provide information on technology performance, background, techniques and methods that have unique technology or protectable intellectual property, as well as description of the responding team and their related experience.
Once a proposal is accepted, we expect the submission of a well-developed project plan with an outline of the proposed project phases, project plan with milestones, including budget.