University of Leicester facility to help optimise hybrid structures for automotive sector

Posted by ap507 at Apr 28, 2016 11:59 AM |
ASDEC Wins R&D Funding from Innovate UK for Hybrid Automotive Lightweight Optimisation (HALO) Project

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 28 April 2016

A video about research at ASDEC is available here:

The University of Leicester’s ASDEC – The Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre –  facility has announced that it is part of a successful winning bid for £1.4million R&D funding from Innovate UK working in a team with other companies to optimise hybrid structures for the automotive sector.

With low emissions and increased efficiency driving future automotive development, manufacturers are increasingly relying on using multi material (hybrid) structures to offer a cost-effective weight reduction. This will benefit both a reduction in raw materials used in production and improve vehicle efficiency.

The Hybrid Automotive Lightweight Optimisation (HALO) project will look into optimising this multi material approach to maximise the potential of each material and component within the structure of the vehicle, as opposed to the current trend of direct replacement from one material to another.

Modern composite materials can be optimised to provide the same strength for lighter weight but the reality is that there is still a disconnect between computer modelling and actual construction.

HALO aims to close that gap by analysing results from the real world and correlating them back into the virtual.

ASDECs Robotised Laser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV) will be vital in analysis and correlation of what happens to these materials when used in a hybrid construction. The application of results gained are of great interest to those in the modelling and design fields. New experimental measurement techniques will provide detailed information on joint structure interaction along with the repeatability and accuracy available using the Robovib system.

The end result of this project will be validated with the manufacture of a full size prototype to demonstrate how optimisation of these hybrid structures can work in real world manufacturing.

Commenting on the award, Tim Stubbs, ASDEC General Manager, said: “HALO is exactly the kind of project for which ASDEC was established, working at the cutting edge of automotive materials testing and analysis. Our unique set up of Robotised LDV and the ability to provide in-depth analysis of results will give the HALO team unparalleled insight into new hybrid structures and their performance to make them ready for real world applications.”

Professor Sarah Hainsworth, Director of ASDEC said: “I am delighted to be working on this new collaboration with industry in the composites area.  3D laser Doppler vibrometry is a non-contact technique which is particularly important for measuring composites where the additional mass from more traditional techniques such as transducers would fundamentally change the vibration of these lightweight structures.  Light weighting is such an important technology for cars where savings of even a 100g of mass in a car can save tonnes of CO2 emissions when the number of cars in a fleet is considered."

The HALO project team comprises five companies working together to deliver optimum results for future lightweight automotive materials. The companies involved are Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), FAR-UK, TWI, HPL Prototypes and ASDEC. HALO itself is part of a £38 million fund from the UK government through Innovate UK to help develop ideas and technology for cutting vehicle emissions and helping electric cars drive further.

The overall project involves more than 130 organisations – from car manufacturers, technology companies and research centres across the UK – in a wide range of projects to apply state-of-the-art automotive technology such as used in Formula 1 (F1) racing in the commercial automotive industry.


Notes to editors:

More information from: Chris Howe, ASDEC, Control Centre Unit 5, MIRA Technology Park, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 0TU.

Email:, website:

Press information from: Tim Jennings, MJPR Ltd, Wyvols Court, Swallowfield, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 1RW.

Email:, website:


With low emission requirements making lightweight and composite materials an essential element of automotive engineering, facilities for testing structural dynamics, modal analysis, measuring vibration effects and correlating finite element analysis/computer-aided engineering (FEA/CAE) models are much in demand. ASDEC’s state-of-the-art facility offers next-generation, non-contact technology to deliver an order of magnitude increase in speed, accuracy and volume of measurements when compared with traditional testing techniques. ASDEC’s measurement facility is unique in its ability to offer measurement, testing and in-depth analysis of results from a single source and is also backed by the University of Leicester providing access to academic research in the field of advanced materials.

ASDEC’s robotised 3D scanning laser technology delivers repeatable test results in hours rather than days, covering many more test points to suit customers’ requirements from hundreds to many thousands and with far higher accuracy. Being non-contact, ASDEC’s measurement system also removes all observer effects such as accelerometer and cable mass as used in traditional testing which can alter the structural characteristics of the test object. This is especially true with new lightweight and composite materials so ASDEC anticipates high demand as these are increasingly adopted across the automotive sector.

ASDEC’s measurement technology provides vibration measurement and modal analysis to vehicle manufacturers and component makers across the automotive industry. Its wide range of applications encompasses brake squeal, powertrain, Body In White (BIW) modal test, noise vibration and harshness (NVH), in-car entertainment (ICE), buzz, squeak and rattle, CAE/FEA model validation and helping to solve drive-by noise issues. 


Share this page: