Application Center for Wood Fiber Research HOFZET®

Research project

Textile-technical provision of process-adapted preforms for hybrid structural components in automotive engineering (ProText)

In collaboration with two further Fraunhofer Institutes as well as three institutes from the Technical University of Braunschweig, we are working on the development of a new technology with which plastic can be applied to ready-made textiles in a variety of ways, as well as the constructive implementation of this technology and its integration into the process of calender impregnation. The objective is the production of process-adapted, endless-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics with load-path-appropriate architecture, which flow directly into the production of hybrid structural components for the automotive sector.

© Fraunhofer IWU
Einbindung des VKA-Moduls in den gesamten Fertigungsprozess

On the impregnation calender in the technical center of the Open Hybrid LabFactory, widely-varying material combinations are processed. As an example, extensive woven fabrics or multi-axial rovings are specifically thermoplastically impregnated with warp thread offset, for example from glass fibers with carbon fiber bands. In order to wet these bands with a sufficient matrix and to enable, depending on the location of the bands, a flexible application of the plastic, a module with maximum variability for a close-contoured plastic application is being developed within the framework of the project.

Within the scope of this project at the Fraunhofer WKI Application Center for Wood Fiber Research HOFZET, we are primarily examining, in addition to work in the area of the design of the powder impregnation module, the material selection, material development and material testing. The project participants hereby impregnate both conventional and bio-based textile semi-finished products with plastic matrices which are based on renewable raw materials. In order to achieve a comprehensive and homogeneous impregnation, all the decisive process parameters for the respective material combination are optimized, so that they can be subsequently transferred to the calender process. The permeation of the textiles with the plastic matrix as well as the binding of the fibers to the matrix are examined, amongst other ways, by means of computed tomography recordings.

Project partners

Fraunhofer IWU (leadership)
Fraunhofer IFAM
Technical University of Braunschweig (ifs, IK, IWF)


Funding body: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, MWK)

Project coordination: Fraunhofer IWU

Duration: 1.9.2014 to 31.8.2019