Development of a transferable lightweight design concept for utilizing increased cyclic load capacities of thin-walled GJS structures using a digital twin.


Within the scope of the GJSlim research project, the lightweight potential of thin-walled nodular cast iron (GJS) components will be increased by considering locally varying material properties in component design. Current design guidelines do not allow for such an approach to utilise local component properties.

Casting, in general, especially sand casting, is ideally suited for the mass production of functionally integrated lightweight structures due to the combination of high component complexity and low production costs. GJS exhibits an optimal combination of almost arbitrarily adjustable strength, ductility, and stiffness for lightweight construction. However, the current state of the art needs to consider these local, varying material properties of GJS components in component design.

The GJSlim research project aims to identify the fundamental interdependencies between design and process optimization as well as local component properties via an interdisciplinary knowledge transfer between the fields of foundry technology, structural lightweight design, and fatigue strength. Knowledge of local component properties opens up previously unconsidered opportunities for structural optimization with a focus on weight reduction to further increase the lightweight potential of these materials and, thus, significantly reduce CO2 emissions during production and use. The identified influencing variables and emission values are modelled in a digital twin for each component.

Within the framework of the project, the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design is developing methods for optimizing thin-walled cast components, taking into account production-related boundary conditions and local component properties. Furthermore, a concept for the systematically transferring of multidisciplinary optimization into digital twins is derived. We will demonstrate, in collaboration with our partners, the increased lightweight potential based on the insights gained during the project, using a demonstrator designed for applications of cast components with thin-walled structures.

The project consortium consists of INTES GmbH, Franken Guss GmbH & Co. KG, Hüttenes-Albertus Chemische Werke GmbH, Isselguss GmbH Gießereierzeugnisse, MAGMA Gießereitechnologie GmbH, FONDIUM B.V. & Co. KG, ASK Chemicals, as well as the Fraunhofer LBF and RWTH Aachen University, in cooperation with the Foundry Institute (GI) and the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design (SLA). The project is led by the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design.




The GJSlim project is part of the Technologietransfer-Programm Leichtbau (TTP LB) under funding code 03LB3079 and is supervised by the Projektträger Jülich (PtJ).



+49 241 80-98634