PROGRAMME: Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems.

Duration: 2006 – 2009


Project Summary:

Increasing awareness by the public opinion about environmental issues, energy and material conservation at all stages of product life (from raw materials to disposal/recycling) is putting the industry in general and the transport industry in particular under increased pressure to reduce CO2 emissions and save energy. Environmental protection and safety will be increasingly influenced by legislation.

The European transport industry is estimated to generate 22% of the carbon dioxide emission. As the car population is expected to grow 40% by the year 2010 new tough targets for reducing emissions by 30% in 2010 are being set by the EU, against the state of the art technologies of 1995. It is generally agreed by the industry that reductions of this size will require a change in current technologies.

Multimaterial technology (sandwich and/or hybrid materials) is becoming increasingly important in new vehicle design. It offers significant opportunities for enhancement of product performance in terms of strength, stiffness and crashworthiness, combined with weight reduction and space saving. Its use still lags far behind steel in the production of cars, buses, coaches and rail and marine applications.

Public service vehicles (buses and coaches) are regarded as primary targets for application of sandwich construction and multimaterials.

Public service vehicles (PSV) play a major role in the transportation industry of both industrialized and developing countries. Although the share of passenger transportation in PSV is relatively small compared to private cars (10% for bus, 5% for train), environmental and energy conservation constraints will lead to an increased demand of PSV, mainly in cases with limited access (like city centres). As travel by car has increased at a steady rate, of 2% per year, whereas bus increased 0,9% and train 0,4%, the EU White Paper on European transport Policy for 2010 establishes, as main goal, a shifting of balance from car to public transport, through the development of high quality and safe transport, eliminating the root causes of pollution – the use of individual transportation.


  • Instituto de Engenharia Mecanica e Gestao Industrial (PT, Coordinator)
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES)
  • Suministros y Servicios Unificados de Carrocería SL (ES)
  • Centre International de Mètodes Numèrics en Enginyeria (ES)
  • Diseño Industrial ITALDESIGN S.L. (ES)
  • Politecnico di Milano (IT)
  • University of Oxford (UK)
  • Technische Universitat Clausthal (DE)
  • Caetanobus- Fabricaçao de Carroçarias S.A. (PT)
  • Mauri Bus System Srl. (IT)
  • N.T.ET S.p.A. (IT)
  • Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan (SE)
  • FiberSensing – Sistemas Avançados de Monitorizaçao S.A. (PT).