College of Rennes 1. New laboratory for future electrical autos

On the edge of the bypass, near Lorient Road, Cooper Standard retreated in 2019 with Contitech AVS France, a subsidiary of Continental. The powerful German group, which is best known for tires, develops anti-vibration solutions, suspension, seals, etc. at its Rennes plant. Especially for the automotive industry – the Stellantis plant (ex-PSA) in La Janais is very close – but not only. “We are also diversifying into industry, with heavy trucks or construction machinery, as well as into agriculture”explains Benoît Ruellan, Sustainability Officer for Continental’s Advanced Dynamics Solutions business area.

Partnership for six years

Both the research center and the Contitech production plant employ approximately 300 people. Beyond the company’s walls, teams are developing innovative solutions for the ever-changing mobility sector. For six years, they have worked closely with researchers at the University of Rennes 1, especially those at the Rennes Institute of Physics, who specialize in imaging materials.

Jean-Benoît Le Cam, teacher-researcher, head of the Elast-D3 Joint Laboratory. | WESTERN FRANCE

The joint laboratory, called Elast-D3, was officially inaugurated on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Research conducted through this private / public partnership will focus on tomorrow’s vehicles to move towards carbon-free mobility. Electric vehicles in search of researchers. “Here we study how to lighten the vehicle, explains Jean-Benoît Le Cam, teacher-researcher, head of the joint laboratory. We are also developing new parts for electric motors, because electric motors do not vibrate like internal combustion engines. »

Also read: Its code name CR3: Stellantis says more about the future electric car manufactured in Rennes

Test the durability of the parts

For this purpose, there is an amazing test bench in the laboratory at the Beaulieu complex. A large metal diamond, a biaxial machine, stretches a piece of elastomer in all directions to test its resistance to deformation. Everything is controlled by a camera battery. “Thanks to this, we can predict how the part will behave, describes a specialist. Dialogue of researchers with industrial engineers, basic research is transformed into industrial solutions. »

Teams from the University of Rennes 1 work closely with teams from Contitech (Continental Group). | WESTERN FRANCE

The Rennes Institute of Physics has recognized expertise in this area. “At European and even global level, we are the only ones with such expertise”, emphasizes Jean-Benoît Le Cam. Since its signing in March 2021, the Elast-D3 Joint Laboratory has benefited from the region of Brittany, Rennes Métropole and the National Association for Technological Research (ANRT).

University of Rennes 1. New laboratory for future electric vehicles

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