Market and Technology Studies

We conduct Market and Technology Studies bringing together a broad consortium of partners who provide a joint budget to investigate lightweight markets technologies.

Benefits of Participants:

〉〉 Direct influence on study process
〉〉 Contact to a broad network of industrial players
〉〉 Combination of technical Knowhow and Market Intelligence
〉〉 Hardware on-site for realizing resulting project ideas
〉〉 Cost-effective budget based on joint cost sharing


Buy Report: Bio-based Composites

The biopolymer market is expected to grow from USD 10.5 billion in 2020 to USD 27.9 billion by 2025. Market trends like focus on sustainable production or availability of cost-effective bio-based raw materials are driving forces. Thus, bio-based polymers are already established in the packaging industry, the further potential in industrial applications, especially in composites remains to be discovered.

The project aims to evaluate the potential for future applications of bio-based composites. It provides a comprehensive investigation and documentation on the current and future markets, an overview about technical challenges and requirements and analyses most promising applications within business cases.

Project Start: 22th October 2020

Project Duration: 5 months

Download the flyer with the key facts to the project
Buy Report: Next Generation Mobility Solutions

The study “Next Generation Mobility Solutions” addressed the possibilities of implementing new mobility solutions and the connection to composites. Within the study the AZL provided a market segmentation and analysis to discuss the most promising markets and applications.

The study also provided a comprehensive investigation and documentation on the key trends and state-of-the-art solutions, applications, materials and technologies in the mobility market. Furthermore, it reflected the technical requirements of these products.

In the project a technology matching was carried out with the aim to present composite based production processes and materials that fit existing and upcoming mobility technologies and driving forces of the focused markets segments.

The study is closed, for more information regarding questions and a final report please contact us directly.

Project Start: October, 2019
Project Duration: 6 months


AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project.


Click to read Johns Manville’s Statement to their participation in the study.


Buy Report: Composites in the Furniture Industry

Composites offer a broad possibility to be used in furniture parts and structures. AZL addressed these potentials with a short-term study identifying potentials and USPs of composites in growing furniture market, including a furniture market segmentation, elaboration of technical requirements as well as identification of high-potential applications. The aim was to understand the material selection process of furniture designers to increase the use of composites in furniture parts.

The study answered questions such as: 

  • What are the key trends in design & technology and what is driving this market?
  • How does the future of furniture look like?
  • How can the market be segmented?
  • What are today’s and upcoming technical requirements of furniture products?
  • How do today’s value chains and state-of-the-art processes & materials look like?
  • Where do composites fit in to these trends and driving forces?
  • Where can composites add value in design & manufacturing?
  • Where have composites already been applied successfully?

The Procedure:

The study was structured in four short-term phases completed in 4.5 months and provided a brief and comprehensive insight into the market potential and technological requirements.


AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project.


Buy Report: Potentials and Challenges of Thermoplastic Tapes for SME Injection Molders

Thermoplastic tapes enable new and innovative designs and improved properties for injection molded parts: As local reinforcements, tapes allow for increased stiffening, cost savings, higher surface hardness or enhanced optics. Small and medium-sized injection molders in particular can achive great advantages from tapes. Yet the high number of injection molding companies in Germany and other countries makes rare use of thermoplastic tapes and their potential.

The study is addressing this need to increase the use of tapes in injection molding. With a systematic identification of suitable applications and background on development and manufacturing processes, the study is supporting SME injection molders to make use of the potential of thermoplastic tapes. Tape manufacturers and machine and tool builders on the other hand will get in contact to potentially new customers and will get insights in their requirements and pitfalls in using thermoplastic tapes in their processes.

Keyfacts of the study:

  • Reaching out and understanding the SME injection molders base
  • Systematic identification of potentials for thermoplastic tapes in injection molding
  • Provide an extensive documentation of the state of the art methologies and technologies for the development and the production of parts

Systematic Procedure in 6 Months

The 6-months study started with an overview on the status at typical injection molders evaluating their know-how in thermoplastic composites, barriers, chances and risks as well as their typical innovation process. These insights were derived from expert interviews as well as visits. In a second phase, the technology experts identified application potentials in a systematic procedure: Advantages and challenges of hybrid thermoplastic composites compared to conventional plastics were identified and applications were clustered and benchmarked. The study concluded with recommendations for actions: Business cases for hybrid thermoplastic parts gave concrete examples for parts. Recommendations for action to overcome technical and organizational barriers were given together with a practical guide including guidelines for project initiation, design, manufacturing and planning.

In mobilizing the injection molding and composite community the AZL and IKV draw on their strong networks of more than 370 companies in total covering the entire value chain from material suppliers and system and tool manufactures, over molders to OEMs. The AZL and IKV both have a strong background in developing a market overview and a profound technological insight into composite processes, materials and applications. Being one of the largest plastics institutes, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University is an innovation driver and research partner having many years of experience in all areas of plastics technology. The Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) of RWTH Aachen University is specialized in research on integrated and combined process chains for multi-material systems.

AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project.


Buy Report: Energy Storage Systems

The Joint Market and Technology Study on “Energy Storage Systems” is motivated by the strong market growth which is apparent for energy storage systems. The market volume in Germany is expected to grow from about 2.5 billion euro in 2011 to approximately 14 billion euro in 2025 (Source:, 2015). The globally unstoppable transmission of energy supply by renewable energy will only be accomplished with efficient energy storage systems.

With a strong focus on the technological analysis of established, emerging and still developing systems and technologies, the study will offer a broad decision basis for the business development of companies. The results are relevant for suppliers of materials, of processing technologies as well as of systems and machinery who want to evaluate the potential of their products, their production technologies as well as their know-how in the field of energy storage systems.

Starting with a detailed market segmentation including an assessment of the economic and technological potential, the technology readiness level as well as important key players will be analyzed. All the important technologies in the field of energy storage, chemical energy storage as well as thermal energy storage are considered. The team of experts will identify use cases in the field of energy supply, of operating energy grids as well as of mobile and permanent decentralized applications. Different system configurations, materials and components will be analyzed with the aim to identify technological enablers. The study will additionally reflect supply chains (supplier of systems, materials and technologies) and business models with future technological potential and requirements.

Key facts:

  • Addressed market segment: Energy storage systems
  • Duration: 8 months
  • Start: January 2018
  • Status: Completed
  • Addressed participants: Companies seeking new business opportunities in the field of energy storage systems

Our partners/supported by:

AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project.


Read more on the Kick-Off meeting on January 30th, 2018.


Buy Report: High-Performance SMC


The Joint Market and Technology Study on High-Performance SMC of AZL and IKV aims at broadening the understanding of interdependencies by providing in-depth knowledge on SMC applications and technologies, key challenges, and technological solutions for establishing High-Performance SMC. This will serve as basis for the elaboration of design guidelines, a target-oriented development and to open up new business opportunities.

Scope and content of the study have been developed in close collaboration with the industrial AZL Workgroup which was established in an initial workshop in 2016 with more than 60 participants from the industry, including several automotive OEMs such as Audi, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, MAN, Toyota and Volkswagen. During several meetings, the industrial workgroup defined different joint research and development initiatives to build a toolbox for HP-SMC, one of them being the Joint Market and Technology Study on High-Performance SMC.

The 12-months study is designed as a joint study involving players along the entire value chain. This approach allows participants to benefit from the knowledge of all study partners and experts who are involved in the project. Study participants will be a direct part of the study and will be able to influence the progress according to their specific demands.

Key facts:

  • Addressed market segment: Automotive, Electronics, Buildings and Construction
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Start: September 2017
  • Status: Completed
  • Addressed participants: all composite players as well as material suppliers, equipment and mold suppliers, part manufacturers, OEMs or engineering suppliers and part developers


AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project.


Buy Report: Assessment of Existing Standards for FRP Pipes and Vessel towards Development and Qualification

Copyright: Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

The Joint Partner Study “Assessment of Existing Standards for FRP Pipes and Vessel towards Development and Qualification” will start end of July 2017 with a duration of 4 months and is open for AZL Partner Companies to join.

Pipes and vessels represent an ideal application for fiber reinforced plastics (FRP). Therefore FRP are of growing interest for fluid transportation and storage in industries like oil, water or gas, but also for the transportation and automotive sector. Lightweight for low handling and transportation cost, non-corrosiveness for long service life are some drivers behind that interest. In return, the processing of traditional materials, such as steel and aluminium, is well established and consequently, development and qualification efforts are often lower than for FRP.

FRP pipes and vessels need standardization to compete with metal-based vessels.

Within the AZL Pipes and Vessels Workgroup a market study on FRP pipes and vessels was alreadyconducted to gain a current market overview about relevant industrial applications. The results was presented during the last workgroup meeting. In addition the “Assessment of existing standards for FRP pipes and vessel towards development and qualification“ will be conducted in this Joint Partner Project. The study will include investigations and analyses of relevant applications for FRP pipes and vessels in different market segments, such as oil and gas, water and automotive Industry. A detailed overview on requirements, existing standards (material and product related) as well as test and measurement methods for materials, pipes and vessels qualification will be given. The results will be presented exclusively to the project participants.

Key facts:

  • Addressed market segments: oil, water or gas, transportation and automotive
  • Duration: 4 months
  • Status: Completed
  • Addressed participants: all AZL partner companies

AZL Partner Companies find further information at the AZL Partner Section.

Please contact us for information on the results >

Buy Report: New Potentials for Composite Technologies in Buildings and Infrastructure


Buildings & Infrastructure – comparable to the transportation sector – are markets with enormous and growing potential for lightweight materials and related technologies. The new construction but also the rehabilitation and the renovation of existing Buildings & Infrastructure components will play a decisive role.

Within this Joint Market and Technology Study new potentials for composite technologies in Buildings & Infrastructure will be identified. Drawing on technical expertise, but also a well-grounded knowledge of market specific information, AZL is determining where and with which products, materials and production technologies new business opportunities will open. Therefore, AZL is creating and rating new scenarios for high potential applications and will provide necessary information to support product and service development of participating companies.

In two prioritization workshops, AZL together with the study partners determine the key segments as well as ten technologies/applications with the highest market potential which will be investigated in detail. The study will comprise application analyses of 12 market segments, investigation of 100 applications, technology analyses of 25 highlight components and 10 detailed business cases. Besides requirement analyses for materials and production technologies, new concepts for efficient profitable production technologies are developed including cost engineering analysis.

The study is open for all companies along the value chain of the composites as well as buildings & infrastructure market. AZL and AVK partner companies can participate at a reduced fee.

Get an overview on all AZL activities related to Buildings & Infrastructure here.

Key facts:

  • Addressed market segment: Buildings and Infrastructure
  • Duration: 6 months
  • Expected start: November 2016
  • Status: Completed
  • Addressed participants: all composite players as well as companies from the buildings & infrastructure market such as architects, designers, structural engineers or general contractors


AZL Market & Technology Study Download the flyer with the key facts to the project 


Buy Report: Mass Production for Lightweight Composite Structures

The first AZL Market and Technology Study in 2013/2014 addressed the overall lightweight market to provide a systematic and structured market overview of current lightweight applications, parts and materials, production technologies as well as material and system suppliers.

450 applications were investigated from which 50 highlight components were chosen and analyzed in detail resulting in technology demonstrators. 12 business cases were developed giving application-related insight into large-scale lightweight production scenarios.

Key facts:

  • Addressed market segments: Transportation, Oil/ Water/ Gas, Building and Construction, Renewable Energy, Consumer/ Sports/ Leisure
  • Involved partners: 34 companies of the whole value chain (material supplier, molder, manufacturing equipment supplier, Tier 1 and 2, OEM)
  • Duration: One year, 2013-2014