Research project "GreenGlassFiber"

Energy efficient production of continuous glass-fiber reinforced thermoplastic components

The project aims to develop a method and a corresponding test plant for the automated manufacturing of wound components made of continuous glass-fiber reinforced thermoplastics (GRP). The CO2 laser-assisted winding should allow to run the manufacturing process for GRP components without the time, energy, emission and cost-consuming curing in an autoclave for the first time.

The process and system development in the "GreenGlassFiber" project will enable the manufacturing industry to avoid the time and energy consuming curing process in the autoclave at the production of GRP products. The use of CO2 laser radiation in combination with the thermoplastic matrix allows an in-process consolidation during the winding of the components. This reduces not only pollution and saves energy, but also avoids polluting emissions (styrene gassing during thermoset processing and solvents for the thermoset residue cleaning at the machine). In addition the cycle times are shortened, whereby the unit costs for the production of GRP components decrease significantly.
Also the simple recycling of thermoplastics, which can be remelted in contrast to thermosets, are an argument for their sustainable usage.

Project partners

  • Lehrstuhl für Technologie Optischer Systeme der RWTH Aachen

  • AFPT GmbH

  • IBK-Fibertec GmbH

  • TPR Fiberdur GmbH & Co. KG

  • Precitec KG

  • Dr. Mergenthaler GmbH & Co. KG

This research and development project is  funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the Framework Concept ” SME innovative: resource and energy efficiency” and managed by the Project Management Agency DLR (German Aerospace Center).