Fraunhofer, University of Western Ontario cooperate on composites research

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology and The University of Western Ontario have established the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research @ Western, to focus on transportation, construction and energy applications.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT (Pfinztal, Germany) announced on Sept. 22 that has begun a long-term collaboration with The University of Western Ontario (Western) in London, Ontario, Canada. German and Canadian researchers will work together on the process and material development of composite materials for the transportation, construction materials and renewable energy sectors at the joint Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research @ Western, a state-of-the-art equipped press center in full industrial scale.

The main focus of research at the facility will be fiber composites for lightweight construction in various markets. Work will be oriented particularly towards the regional North American market. The Fraunhofer Project Centre will be equipped with a hydraulic press with a maximum clamping force of 2,500 tons, suitable for research on parts in full industrial scale.

Material and process research will focus on direct sheet molding compound (D-SMC), long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFT) and high-pressure resin transfer molding (HP RTM) for the sustainable use of high-volume composite technologies in the automotive industry, machines and equipment industry and aviation industry. Other areas of focus include:

  • Research in materials, simulation, design
  • Optimizing of existing processes and materials
  • Development of new processes and materials as well as transition of lab scale basic research results into industrial applications
  • Part, process, material and tooling innovations
  • Competence along the whole value chain from product engineering up to manufacturing of demonstrator parts

The joint Project Centre will run for an initial period of five years.