Joint R&D Projects

Together with the AZL Partner Companies, we regularly realize Joint Partner Projects on different lightweight research and development questions.

Benefits of Participants:

〉〉  Detailed, pre-competitive investigation of lightweight materials, systems or processes
〉〉  Cost-effective budget based on joint cost sharing
〉〉  Exclusive projects with AZL Partner Institutes and AZL Partner Companies

Latest Joint Partner Projects:

New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses

Large-scale production of composite sheets can be achieved by a continuous production process using double-belt presses. Current machine designs however suffer from low energy efficiency as well as strong limitations concerning the product geometry flexibility.
In the first project phase, the AZL, together with six partner companies, developed a prototype for proof-of-principle of a novel cost and energy-efficient double-belt press system for the continuous production of composite sheets. A follow-up project will start at the end of 2016 to progress on the developed double-belt press system with the aim to build an industry-scaled machine according to the pursued concepts.

Thermoplastic Tapes – Material and Processing Benchmark
Thermoplastic Tape Within the first AZL Market and Technology Study, thermoplastic tapes have been identified as one key technology for future process chains for mass production of lightweight components.
The first one-year Joint Partner Project just ended realizing a benchmark of different tape materials and investigating the interactions of tape, processing and resulting laminate properties within the consortium. The AZL Partner Companies currently discuss follow-up activities addressing the correlation of morphology and mechanical properties of TP-FRP laminates.


Ultra-Fast Manufacturing of Tailored Composite Blanks

To increase resource-efficiency in the production of continuous fiber-reinforced plastics, the processing of scrap-optimized blanks with defined fiber alignment (“tailored composite blanks”) on basis of unidirectional semi-finished products (thermoplastic tapes, tow-pregs or dry-fibres) offers high potential compared to textile-based pre-products. Nonetheless, today’s production systems for the manufacturing of tailored composite blanks are limited in throughput per system.
The 18-month Joint Partner Project involves 12 Partner Companies from seven countries to develop a machine prototype for proving the feasibility of a novel manufacturing principle to produce tailored composite blanks in seconds at medium investment cost.



End-machining of Fiber-Reinforced Plastics

Source: © Fraunhofer IPT

Indicating the potential and the limitations of FRP end-machining operations is essential to shorten machining times, to allow high-quality edges without the need for cost-intensive manual re-work and to avoid process-related damage.
In this project proposal, technology benchmarking and feasibility studies of operations such as milling, shearing, water jet cutting, laser cutting are to be implemented with the aim of defining economically efficient FRP end-machining operations. The project scope is currently further defined with interested AZL Partner Companies and is still open to join.



In addition to Joint Partner Projects, we offer project management for individual research and development project also to companies outside the AZL Partnership, or support you in finding the right partners for your ideas.

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