06. November 2012

Kick-off for the Leading-Edge Cluster project MAI Polymer

Augsburg. Companies and research institutes gathered for the kick-off of the Leading-Edge Cluster MAI Carbon’s MAI Polymer project. The goal is to improve the stability and mechanical properties of thermoplastic CFRP Material through tailored adaptation of the adhesion between carbon fiber and matrix for application-optimized lightweight material.


Under the direction of prof. Siegfried Horn (University of Augsburg, Institute for experimental physic II) with four other partners (BASF, EADS IW, Fraunhofer ICT-FIL, SGL Carbon) and four associated partners (Audi, BMW, Eurocopter, Voith) the next project within MAI Carbon, the Leading-Edge Cluster initiative, has been started. Approximately 2.3 million Euros will be spent on project costs over a period of 30 months. The goal is to tailor the settings of fiber matrix adhesions to improve the mechanical properties of the CFRP material and to improve high temperature and chemical stability.

The adhesion between carbon fiber and the matrix is essential for the mechanical properties as well as the chemical and thermal resistance of the fiber composite. First, extensive studies will be used within the project to examine the interaction between the fiber and the matrix. This forms an important basis to optimally coordinate the fiber and thermoplastic matrix for specific application areas. The goal of the MAI Polymer project is to achieve improved mechanical “performance” of the thermoplastic composites and higher stability against environmental factors. Ideally, a targeted solvability of the fiber from the matrix can be achieved by modifying the fiber-matrix interface within the project.

By using lightweight materials such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics, a reduction of up to 60% of the weight is possible, when compared to the conventional steel construction, for example. Thus, a reduction in fuel consumption is possible, increasing energy efficiency in mobility considerably. The use of the thermoplastic matrix polymers is the focus of the MAI Polymer project.  Thermoplastic polymers have great potential for the automobile industry which requires short cycle times in high series component production, because they can be repeatedly melted down and easily reformed and therefore achieve the required performance characteristics for its application.

Regional knowledge transfer

The material parameters and characteristics of the thermoplastic composite materials within the project are to be collected in a database. The goal is to establish a comprehensive database and develop evaluation standards for thermoplastic composites, which will be used to advise companies in the selection of application-specific thermoplastic systems.


There is also a close exchange of information with the other MAI Carbon projects.