Lightweight Steel Space Frame

Key Info

Basic Information

01.09.2018 to 30.08.2021
Organizational Unit:
Chair of Production Engineering, Innovation Management
Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy BMWi

Research partner

    • BMW AG
    • Pininfarina Deutschland GmbH
    • EDAG Engineering GmbH Linde + Wiemann SE & Co. KG

In order to reduce the vehicle body weight and increase resource and material efficiency, the consortium of the funded project "LeSS - Leichtbau Stahl Spaceframe" is investigating a steel profile construction with thin-walled cast steel nodes. The prerequisites for a broad implementation of the lightweight design concept in future derivatives are being researched and demonstrated. With the help of agile product development methods, increments in the form of iteration loops are developed, which consist of a constructive transfer to demonstrators as well as a simulative validation.

In order to draw technical and economic conclusions from a real application of the technology, the entire ZB side frame will be set up on the left for crash tests by the body construction group of the PS-FZ department. This crash demonstrator contains innovative joining concepts such as the use of one-sided remote laser welding in addition to the premises of steel profile construction with thin-walled cast steel nodes.
Further goals of the LeSS funding project are the reduction of vehicle weight through the functional integration of several (deep-drawn) components in casting nodes as well as material-saving and load-compliant component design and construction. In addition to reducing costs and weight, this also leads to less complexity in production due to less component diversity. In the long term, production concepts will be implemented in large series of various derivatives.