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Large-Scale Production of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics

MAI Projects

The MAI Carbon cluster in the German city triangle Munich, Augsburg and Ingolstadt persues the objective to lead CFRP technology to series capacity by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, quantum leap innovations are required along the complete component-part life cycle, i.e. starting from the fiber and matrix material, through the manufacture of the component parts and product systems, to the stage of conclusive recycling concepts.

Various partners are bundled in the cluster to increase their knowledge in order to realize technical leadership with the employment of CFRP component parts in mass production, and to make Germany the global leader in the area of fibercomposite technology. The intensive cooperation of German large-scale companies of repute and technology leaders from the application sectors involving automobile manufacture, aerospace travel, mechanical and plant engineering, as well as fiber and semi-finished product manufacturers, make the MAI Carbon Leading-Edge Cluster unique.
Project volume: 2.5 MEUR
Project term: Nov. 1, 2014 – Oct. 31, 2017

Project partners:
  • Automation W+R GmbH
  • BMW AG
  • Dassault Systèmes Deutschland GmbH
  • SGL Carbon GmbH
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
Project objective:
The overarching objective of the MAI Form Project is to improve the predictive capability for forming processes of composite materials with thermo-viscous properties in high volume automotive applications. Improving the predictive capacity of manufacturing processes can help reduce production and development costs and develop robust manufacturing processes. The MAI Form Project aims to achieve this objective by developing enhanced characterization, simulation and validation methods..

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-form
Project volume: 1.3 MEUR
Project term: Oct. 1, 2014 – Mar. 31, 2017

Project partners:
  • Apparatebau Gauting GmbH
  • Technical University of Munich, Department for Carbon Composites
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
Project objective:
The MAI Tank research project will investigate and develop new types of pressure tanks made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The focus will be on an efficient manufacturing process with fiber-thermoplastic composites. This project will partly address and refine the sequential construction mode approach for pressure tanks that was already investigated in the StorHy (hydrogen storage) project. One new feature in particular is the use of a centrifugal casting process for a type 5 tank. Compared with the pressure tanks available on the market to date, the manufacturing process can be made more efficient and the application range can be extended due to the modular structure of the vessel. Another advantage of the new manufacturing process is the connection of the necessary sealing layer with the cylinder tube laminate in a single step.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-tank
Project volume: 1.5 MEUR
Project term: Nov. 1, 2014 – Apr. 30, 2016

Project partners:
  • BMW AG
  • C-CON GmbH
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
Project objective:
The aim of the MAI AutoPreg project is to systematically refine the CPP (carbon pre-impregnated press-forming) process and adapt the materials and technologies used to one another to create the necessary technical maturity for industrialization. The focus of the work will be on developing an impregnation unit adapted to the winding process, a new matrix material, integrated machine technology including adapted automation technology, as well as a suitable "handling system". The technical feasibility will be tested through implementation in real-life conditions. Additionally, other advantages in respect of formability and waste reduction will be investigated.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-autopreg
Project volume: 2.8 MEUR
Project term: Feb. 1, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2016

Project partners:
  • Airbus Group Innovations
  • Audi AG
  • BMW AG
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
  • Munich University of the Federal Armed Forces
Project objective:
Development of load introduction areas that are simple and cost-effective to produce and that are functionally equivalent to more elaborate versions. To be able to design load introduction areas more effectively, there first needs to be a better understanding of the mechanisms acting on the load transfer area. This will be done by means of tests and calculations.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-last
Project volume: 3.5 MEUR
Project term: Jan. 1, 2013 – Dec. 31, 2015

Project partners:
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
  • Audi AG
  • Krauss-Maffei Technologies GmbH
  • Siemens AG
Project objective:
The project aim is to develop a new kind of preform technology using innovative approaches to allow fast production of preforms directly from the base material with minimal waste. Customizing the process technology to the component should also substantially improve efficiency and drastically reduce costs.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-pop
Project volume: 5.2 MEUR
Project term: Jul. 1, 2012 – Jun. 30, 2015

Project partners:
  • Technical University of Munich, Department for Carbon Composites
  • Airbus Group Innovations
  • Aerostruktur Faserverbundtechnik GmbH
  • Audi AG
  • Automation W+R GmbH
  • BMW AG
  • CADCON Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
  • Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
  • ESI Engineering System International GmbH
  • KSB AG
  • Premium Aerotec GmbH
  • Roding Automobile GmbH
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Center)
  • University of Applied Sciences Augsburg
  • Fraunhofer ICT Project Group Functional Integration in Lightweight Components
  • Munich University of the Federal Armed Forces
  • Technical University of Munich, Department for Carbon Composites
Project objective
The MAI Design project is structured along the entire design and production process chain for CFRP components. It aims to develop an understanding of the composite material and structure geared towards optimal use of the material. The research will be jointly conducted on a broad scale by partners from the automotive, aerospace and mechanical engineering sectors as well as from engineering firms, software companies and research institutions. The results will be permanently grounded through the establishment of an engineering center to offer training and professional development, workshops, seminars and summer school programs in the MAI region.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-design
Project volume: 9.6 MEUR
Project term: Jul. 1, 2012 – Jun. 30, 2015

Project partners:
  • Audi AG
  • BASF SE
  • BMW AG
  • Siemens AG
  • SGL Carbon GmbH
  • Airbus Group Innovations
  • Thermoplast Composite GmbH
  • Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
  • Premium Aerotec GmbH
  • KUKA Systems GmbH
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
  • University of Augsburg
  • Technical University of Munich, Department for Carbon Composites
  • Fraunhofer ICT Project Group Functional Integration in Lightweight Components
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Aerospace Center)
  • TEC-KNIT CreativCenter für technische Textilien GmbH
  • Krauss-Maffei Technologies GmbH
Project objective:
The aim of the MAI Plast project is to develop an integrated process chain for the production of FRP with thermoplastic matrix material that is suitable for high volume production applications. To this end it will identify suitable composites and composite combinations and develop efficient manufacturing processes. Based on end-user requirements, appropriate materials (fibers, matrix) will be developed, combined, and characterized by the project partners. The material combinations will then form the basis for developing new processes. In this context, various technologies will be explored for direct component production and component manufacturing from semi-finished goods.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-plast
Project volume: 3.2 MEUR
Project term: Jul. 1, 2012 – Jun. 30, 2015

Project partners:
  • bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH
  • Audi AG
  • BMW AG
  • Neenah Gessner GmbH
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics
  • SGL Carbon GmbH
  • Siemens AG
  • Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG
Project objective:
The aim of the flagship MAI Recycling project is to develop an integrated recycling process chain that starts with production waste or mixed materials and ends with treated carbon fiber which is suitable for further use in a variety of products. In this context, various processes such as decomposition at high temperatures (pyrolysis), will be applied, scrutinized and optimized as potential recycling methods. The recycled carbon fiber will then be analyzed, categorized and treated based on its material properties, using quality assurance methods specifically developed within the project. The recycled carbon fibers are to be used in products which offer both high ecological and economic added value. The project will therefore make a major contribution to improving the quality of the recycling products and industrializing the recycling processes in the long term.

www.carbon-composites.eu/mai-recycling
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