MAI Robust

Coordinator

Dr. Jochen Töpker

Project volume

1,7 million €

Duration

01.08.2014 – 31.07.2016

Project partner
  • BMW AG
  • KARL MAYER Malimo Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH
  • SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH & Co. KG
  • Universität Augsburg – Lehrstuhl Experimentalphysik II

Adjusting the parameters for efficient production of carbon fiber reinforced plastics for the automotive industry

Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components can already be mass produced today. With regard to future competitiveness and the widespread use of CFRP components, it is essential to significantly improve the manufacturing processes and to design them more efficiently.

Due to the complex procedures involved in processing, a number of unresolved research tasks need to be solved in order to improve the processes. As part of the project, some of these parameters are to be examined. The MAI Robust project will address the following research issues, among others: Modification of the carbon fiber surfaces and the coating material (“wash”) as well as the type and quantity of the wash application will be varied and examined across a wide spectrum.

New methods are needed in order to assess the aspects listed above. Their development is also part of this work. The special feature of the project lies in questioning existing process technologies
based on newly-developed research results and improving them accordingly. Furthermore, due to new examination methods, the quality of the materials can be made “visible” during the production process in future.

In order to carry out the work efficiently and purposefully, four partners from research and industry are working closely together in this project. The three companies will chiefly consider the plant and production technology, whereas the University of Augsburg will carry out material changes and characterisations. Supporting research on the textile production cycle will be carried out at the RWTH Aachen.

If designing production processes more robustly and efficiently by changing the parameters and establishing new examination methods is successful, the associated cost saving may significantly increase the attractiveness of CFRP components. This is especially applicable to CFRP components in large numbers for other sectors, such as mechanical engineering.