Thermoforming of FRP organic sheets and tubes

Thermoforming of organosheets is a key technology for processing fiber-reinforced composites (FRP) suitable for mass production. Semi-finished products made from continuous, fiber-reinforced, thermoplastic materials are heated and shaped into structural components and freeform surfaces by adding heat and subsequently forming processes. The advantages of multifunctional thermoforming are short cycle times of less than one minute, suitability for automated processing, economically-efficient mass production and very low tool wear.

Forming of locally reinforced organic sheets and tubes

In order to save material without sacrificing stability, organic sheets as well as FRP tubes, can be locally reinforced and shaped into complex components. However, the heterogeneous material and the different fiber orientations lead to variable material properties in the semi-finished products, presenting manufacturers with particular challenges. The Fraunhofer IPT has specialized in producing thermoforming locally reinforced FRP semi-finished products from unidirectional tape.

Hybrid components and integrating functional elements

Thermoforming additionally enables the production of hybrid parts. Functional elements such as metallic inserts or inlays are integrated into the component while the forming process is ongoing. In this way, the component is not damaged by functional elements attached afterwards and a high level of connectivity is achieved. This eliminates the need for downstream process steps.

Our services- Production of prototypes and demonstrator components

  • Forming of semi-finished products
  • Combined joining and forming
  • Process design, material and component-related process optimization
  • Production of load-optimized structures and individual organosheets
  • Creating and implementing concepts for functionalization
  • Design of inserts and inlays for integration during the forming process
  • Construction, design and manufacture of forming tools
  • Developing forming/ mould technology and integrating systems within existing press systems

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The production of a fan blade comprises four manufacturing steps: tape laying, thermoforming, consolidation and finishing. We have optimized the entire production chain in research and development activities and tailored it to industrial requirements.

Examples of applications

Hybrid components

Combined joining and forming of organosheets with 3D-printed componens.


Load-optimized and locally reinforced organosheets as semi-finished products for forming into structural components and freeform surfaces.



Rapid FVK tube shaping via the thermoforming process.