R&D

AP&T’s research and development is primarily focused on solutions that allow our customers to produce consistently safer, lighter and more energy-efficient products that have low climate and environmental impact. This has been a successful strategy that has helped us become a respected knowledge partner to many companies all over the world, not least in the car industry.

Cooperation for the future

In addition to the continuous development we pursue on our own, we also cooperate with several other specialists from academia and industry on new competitive material combinations and cost-efficient manufacturing methods. Through active business intelligence and continuous dialogue with industry-leading players and by taking part in innovative projects, we help strengthen both our own and our customers’ position in relation to the future.

At our R&D Center in Ulricehamn, which amongst other things is equipped with a full-scale production line for hot forming, we have excellent opportunities to demonstrate and test new solutions under realistic circumstances.

“Our goal is to be at the forefront of industrialization when it comes time for our customers to develop their production.”

— Dr. Christian Koroschetz, Chief Technical Officer, Technology Development, AP&T

› Get to know the members of the AP&T R&D team

B-pillar with customized collision properties manufactured from joined press hardened sheet metal pieces with different hardening properties and thicknesses.

Press hardening of steel

AP&T is one of the true pioneers in press hardening, a technology that has created and will continue to create new opportunities for car manufacturers to produce lighter, safer and more energy-efficient vehicles. The percentage of press hardened parts in modern cars continues to rise substantially at the same rate that materials and forming methods are being developed. As a world leader in the field, AP&T plays a key role in the continued development. Amongst other things, we are currently testing new material combinations and precision control of the hardening process in order to customize the properties of the parts to achieve improved collision safety, for example.

Hot forming of aluminum

Efforts on the part of car manufacturers to achieve lower weight and other desired component properties have increased demand for solutions for forming lightweight materials and material combinations. One example is hot-formed aluminum that weighs approximately 1/3 as much as press hardened sheet metal, and which is a competitive option for some components despite its higher material cost. AP&T already sells complete production lines for hot forming of aluminum, and the company will continue developing the technology in cooperation with research and industry.

Inner door panel from Lotus, manufactured out of hot-formed high strength aluminum in an AP&T production line – within the framework of LoCoLite, an EU project.
Together with research and industry, AP&T is developing production solutions for hot forming of carbon fiber, where falling material costs and faster cycle times are expected to open up additional areas of application. The tool in the image was produced during the TripleUse project, with funding from VINNOVA and SIP LIGHTer.

Composite materials

AP&T is helping to develop effective production methods for forming composite materials in the TripleUse project. KTH and Chalmers universities, the Swerea Sicomp research institute and leading companies in the aviation and automotive industries such as GKN, SAAB and Volvo are also taking part in the cooperation initiative. The goal of the project is to produce quick and cost-efficient methods for production of high-tensile composites based on carbon fiber.

Fuel cells

There are strong indicators that vehicles that operate on hydrogen and fuel cells are on the brink of a commercial breakthrough, which increases interest in solutions that promote rational and large-scale production of components. AP&T, Cell Impact and Sandvik have together developed a new concept for cost-efficient mass production of fuel cell plates. The production process is largely based on AP&T’s extensive experience of production lines for heat exchanger plates, which are manufactured in a similar manner.

AP&T, Cell Impact and Sandvik have together developed a concept for large-scale manufacturing of fuel cell plates.
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