Sensors and actuators in sheet metals

Functional integration in sandwich sheets

The objective is to develop a technology suitable for mass production for reliable, reproducible manufacturing of formed sandwich components which include functional integration of sensors and actuators. The central approach deals with the integration of planar piezo elements into aluminum sandwich sheets by adhesive bonding, followed by forming to obtain structural components. Significant reduction of the tensile and compressive loads acting on the piezo element is achieved by a floating fixation of the piezo element during forming, i.e. a piezo element is embedded into an adhesive between a sheet metal layer and a top layer; forming occurs in the viscous state of the adhesive. The final component requires a rigid connection between the piezo element and the sheet metal, which takes place due to curing of the adhesive after the forming operation.

  • Health monitoring of components and joints
  • Reduction of undesired vibrations
  • Intelligent sheet metals (integration of piezo actuators)

  • Integrating additional functions into components (sensors and actuators)
    • Active noise reduction
    • Health monitoring (monitoring of components and joints)
    • Influencing the vibration behavior
  • Lightweight construction by reducing additional components
  • Functional integration already during manufacturing of semi-finished products
  • Component design using numerical simulation

Development of process chains

  • Market analysis
  • Investigation and optimization of process chains
  • Process automation
  • Planning and technological dimensioning of tools and machines

Development and evaluation of forming strategies

  • Material selection (sheet metal, piezo element, adhesive)  
  • Feasibility studies
  • Technology development
  • Development of characteristic process values and optimal forming strategies
  • Numerical simulation
  • Manufacturing of prototypes

Quality assurance

  • In-line process monitoring
  • Subsequent non-destructive / destructive testing of components
  • Characterizing the functions of sensors and actuators

Machine technology

  • Hydraulic tryout press EHP4-1600 with multi-point die cushion and high-speed-system (press force: 16,000 kN, table size: 4,000 mm x 2,500 mm)
  • Multi-servopress MSP4-2000-2.5x1.2-400 (4 main drives, maximum compressive force 2,000 kN, ram speed 280 mm/s, table dimensions 2,500 x 1,200 mm)
  • Hydraulic double-column frame press HD 315 (press force: 3,150 kN, table size: 800 mm x 1,000 mm)
  • Hydraulic double-column press PYZ 250 with multi-point die cushion (press force: 2,500 kN, table size: 1,700 mm x 1,250 mm)
  • Hydraulic C-stand press CLDZ 250 with die cushion (press force: 2,500 kN, table size: 1,060 mm x 780 mm)


  • Pro
  • AutoCAD

Testing technology

  • Current measurement probes up to 1000 kA