Dear readers,

The AZL year 2021 is in full swing and already filled with 18 meetings for our Workgroups, our Annual Partner Meeting and the additional new Lightweight TechTalks.

We continue to push forward with our engaging digital collaboration that has led to lots of participation in our joint activities over the past year. To mention a few numbers: 30 interactive video conferences with 1,383 attendees, 99 presentations with technology and market impulses and attendee contacts that we were able to share with the lightweight community. 9 new partner companies joined our collaboration since the beginning of 2020.

We invested particularly in our digital networking by developing a networking tool that is fully tailored to the needs of the AZL network: individual, short 1:1 video meetings with other participants, which each participant can book themselves.

One highlight of the year will be the AZL Annual Partner Meeting on June 22 and 23, 2021 – this year in hybrid form with individual participants on site and more participants via the interactive video conference format, which already worked out excellently last year.

We are looking forward to an intensive and trustful cooperation with you.

Enjoy reading the 20 news from the partner companies and partner institutes from our network,

Dr. Kai Fischer (Managing Partner)
Philipp Fröhlig (Senior Project Manager)
Dr. Michael Emonts (Managing Partner), (f.l.t.r)


AZL Networking News

Bob Hsu introduces Formosa Plastics as new AZL Partner

Bob Hsu from the new AZL partner from Taiwan, answers three question on their material solutions, their interest for cooperation and trends in the Asian composite market. Read the brief interview.

IPCO joins AZL collaboration

Welcome, IPCO to the AZL Partner Network. The German company provides industrial process solutions, among others for double belt presses. Read the brief company profile and feel free to get in contact. More...

AZL develops networking tool for 1:1 exchange during AZL meetings

Based on the AZL network‘s demand for digital networking, we have developed a tool which allows you to easily book a few-minute slots with other participants. You will meet 1:1 in a private and secured video meeting room to match interests and effectively arrange a follow-up meeting. This allows us to have the appreciated exchange during the coffee breaks of our meetings, which we know from our face-to-face meetings. Click here to download the tool description or to visit the tool website.


Partner Company's News


Premium-looking automotive interior surfaces are growing in importance for the customers. To address this growing demand, Asahi Kasei is introducing the semi-aromatic polyamide LEONA™ SG series. In addition to high stiffness, it features an improved flowability and a superior surface appearance without any additional surface treatment or coating. More...


Building on the experience gained from extensive testing with some of the leading market players, Berndorf has recently perfected its modular double-belt press technology by adding two innovative modules tailored to the needs of the high-performance thermoplastic composites industry. More...


Cato Composites, manufacturer of high quality CFRTC products and components, has used the COVID-19 pandemic by investing and preparing for future growth. In November the company replaced its former location for a new larger plant. The plant is located at the same business park Haveland in Rheden (NL). More...

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EconCore, specialist in lightweight thermoplastic honeycomb core technology, recognizes the challenge to move towards sustainable growth and a more efficient use of resources. Therefore, EconCore decided to invest into a new industrial line for large scale development and production of recycled PET and HPT honeycombsMore...


Thermoplastic tapes will define the next generation of thermoplastic composites. The prerequisite for this is efficient, economical production processes. With its in-house production portfolio now including a consolidation unit, ENGEL covers the complete process chain for the production of thermoplastic composite components from a single source. More...

HRC extends its business area by investing in new aeronautic composite production center | NewsLIGHT #18 | HRC

HRC has officially made its move toward the aeronautic market by investing in a brand-new serial production center of advanced composite parts for further serving the aeronautic and railway industry. With a registered capital of total $33.8 million, the phase I of the new aeronautic center has a production area of 20,000 sqm and is now under busy construction. More...


Read 2 project updates and news from Huntsman: Affordable lightweight composites for the automotive industry | Composite pressure vessels for hydrogen More...

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Child Presence Detection - Radar life-saving technology to sense occupants VitaSense is a system that detects children left in vehicles and provides this information to the vehicle’s warning systems. It detects occupants, including new-borns, based on their movements or breathing – even when they are sleeping. More...

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Johns Manville (JM), manufacturer of continuous filament glass fibers, announced the successful launch of a thermal recycling unit for waste glass fibers in its Engineered Products plant in Trnava, Slovakia. More...


Mitsui Chemicals expands the development topics with the composite material TAFNEX™ CF-PP UD. Considering the exhibition restrictions during the pandemic situation, a website special has been set up on the Tafnex.eu product website. Latest information on new material studies, processing and simulation can be found here. More...


Setting the foundations for sustainable mobility Röchling Automotive offers a multitude of technologies and products for lighter and smarter mobility. Structural lightweight is amongst the most capable options to avoid heavy metallic designs. The rise of electric and hybrid vehicles addresses many issues of today’s automotive industry. More...


Are you already aware of SimpaTec’s digital free SpotOn’s? If not, the company, one of the leading engineering and software companies in the holistic development and optimization of processes, components and tools, illuminates the SPOT - onto your topics!!! More...


Teijin introduces a PPS-based carbon fiber tape. It offers the typical TPUD advantages like high resistance to chemicals and solvents, low flammability, storage or shipping at room temperature and recyclability. The new TPUD with PPS matrix allows entry in new markets. More...


PDCPD (Poly dicyclopentadiene) material of choice for lightweight structural and durable composites parts. Telene SAS in partnership with Ebusco, developed two composite parts for the (Ebusco) 3.0 citybus, a gamechanger in the market of electric buses. More...


Read 3 project updates and news from Textechno: New contact angle measurement | Single-fiber pull-out test to be standardized | New ISO standard for deformability More...


Partner Institutes´ News

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser-structure based joining of thermoplastics and metals has been proven to have a large potential in numerous industry-relevant applications. Reliable multi-material connections allow a tailored usage of different materials with different properties directly where needed and grant a reduction of material usage and hence weight. More...

Flexible process chain – Automated production of engine parts made of FRP | NewsLIGHT #18 | IPT

Materials for aircraft must be highly resilient and at the same time as light as possible. For this reason, fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) with a resin-based matrix have been used more and more frequently in engine construction for some years now, especially in the manufacture of so-called fan bladesMore...


Read 7 project updates and news from ITA: IBT.Thermoprocess supplies infrared oven for tape production to ITA | Smart Composites for automotive interior parts | Development of an economical concrete moulding system for the production of structural components made of fibre-reinforced composites and 4 more.

Increasing the fatigue strength of composites | NewsLIGHT #18 | SLA

Hybridization offers opportunities to increase the fatigue strength of composite materials Composites are attracting an increasing popularity as a spring material, in particular the market for glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) springs is growing at an ever-increasing rate. More...


AZL Engineering News

Development of Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine and Inductive Double-Belt Press continued this year

AZL is looking forward to tie in with two projects that as a result have brought two machines to life, and to evolve them in a follow-up project. Read on the content of the follow-up projects and watch two videos on the machines.

Download best practices

During the recent Lightweight TechTalk, four design and simulation experts shared their insights and expertise on composite forming simulations (Aniform), component redesign using UD tapes (TPAC), lightweight design with thermoplastic composites (AZL), consistent topology optimization and integreated hybrid design (IKV). Click here for free download.


AZL Meetings

Outlook to AZL meetings in 2021 and review of 2020

All workgroup meetings for 2021 are set and another year filled with collaboration for business and technologies in lightweight 2021 awaits us. Click here to download an overview of all upcoming meetings, impressions and outcomes of 2020, and what more to expect in 2021.

Save the date for the hybrid
AZL Annual Partner Meetings 2021

Participate in this years hybrid Annual Partner Meeting on June 22-23, 2021 to meet up with the whole AZL family, define future activities, review projects and workgroups of the previous year and discuss composite trends, as well as network in 1:1 video meetings with the new networking tool we developed. More...

AZL Partners can now apply as speaker for Lightweight TechTalk

Apply as a speaker to present your solutions at the Lightweight TechTalk on April 29, 2021 which will address: Thermoset & Thermoplastic Tape Placement in Aerospace

Download the presentations of the recent five editions with technological insights on:

- Best Practices in Lightweight Design with Thermoplastic Composites
- Sustainability & Recycling of Composites
Tape Integration into Injection Molded Parts
- Composites & Additive Manufacturing
- Design Methodology for Multi-material Lightweight Components

>> Download technological insights from 5 TechTalks


Upcoming AZL Workgroup Meetings

• Composites in Buildings & Infrastructure  | March 25th, 2021

• Composite Pipes & Vessels | April 20th, 2021

• Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites | May 6th, 2021

• High-Performance SMC  | May 18th, 2021 

• Product Cost Benchmarking | August 26th, 2021

• Composites in Buildings & Infrastructure | September 21th, 2021

• Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites | October 5th, 2021

• Advanced Thermoset Production | October 27th, 2021

• High-Performance SMC | November 17th, 2021

• Composite Pipes & Vessels | November 25th, 2021


Highlight Meetings at AZL Ecosystem

Campus-Talk #1: "RWTH Aachen ist Hotspot für Modulbau"

March 30, 2021: What are the developments in modular construction? What challenges does modular construction face in comparison to conventional construction? What role do RWTH Aachen University and the state of NRW play in the topic of modular construction?

These and more questions will be answered in Campus-Talk #1 by host Prof. Ulrich Rüdiger (Rector of RWTH Aachen University), Ina Scharrenbach (Minister for Regional Identity, Communities and Local Government, Building and Gender Equality of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia) together with Dr. Carl Richter (Head of the Center Building and Infrastructure Engineering) as well as scientists and leading room cell manufacturers.

Follow the link to join the livestream (in German): https://www.rwth-campus.com/campus-talk-modulbau

6th UKP-WORKSHOP: Ultrafast Laser Technology

April 21, 2021: The 6th UKP-Workshop: Ultrafast Laser Technology will focus on processes and systems that can help companies capitalize on the full range of laser performance, such as high speed scanning or suitable beam shaping.

Interesting presentations will provide valuable know-how about selecting the right laser source or individually modifying the laser beam profile in time and space in order to have optimal process conditions. Furthermore, experts will discuss how to push the boundaries of today’s ultrafast laser process engineering. 


Aachen Body Engineering Days 2021

September 21 and 22, 2021: This year, the Aachen Body Engineering Days, organized by fka GmbH, are hosted again at the Institute for Automotive Engineering. International experts in body, material and production technology will discuss the latest developments and trends. Speakers from renowned companies will provide an outlook on future strategies and present the latest car bodies and components. Of course, also the ika will present its latest research results.

The main topics this year are: New presentation of series and concept vehicles, Electric vehicle architectures, Innovative structural concepts, Modern materials in body construction and Innovative safety concepts.

For further information or presentation proposals: www.aachener-karosserietage.de/en

AKL – International Laser Technology Congress

May 6-8, 2022: Owing to the progressing coronavirus pandemic, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT has decided to cancel the International Laser Technology Congress AKL in 2020. The safety and health of our attendees, partners and employees has top priority for us. The next AKL will take place from May 6 to 8, 2022, thus maintaining its regular biennial rhythm.



AZL and Composites World partner for expanded global reach of composite news

CompositesWorld will be publishing selected NewsLIGHT stories through its website and e-newsletters. These stories will link back to AZL and provide a portal for CW’s readers worldwide to learn more about our network and member companies. 

AZL partners can subscribe to CW newsletters free of charge at https://gardnerweb.activehosted.com/f/22

We look forward to increasing global awareness and networking for continued advancement in lightweight composites technologies.