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Unique research & development for small and medium enterprises (SME)

News International-French

5 Dec 2012

The Centre for High Performance Fibre Materials in Aachen (CFM) creates a unique research infrastructure, which allows for the interdisciplinary development of new high performance fibres such as the processing of carbon and glass fibres. The CFM is continuously exploring new areas for the application of fibres in a variety of scientific fields such as medical technology, lightweight structures, the automotive industry, aerospace development and the construction sector.

Fibre composite materials and their properties can now be explored in one location, which drastically reduces research and development costs as well as clears the way for the utilisation of new technologies.



Results are directly usable for SME

Through a unique combination of research facilities, the CFM offers small and medium industry direct access to scientific research and results in the field of High Performance Fibre materials.


The CFM’s mission is to provide clients with pre-competitive research unhampered by barriers. With this foundation, new ways of co-design innovation and know-how transfer are created. By participating in community research and development projects with companies, results are generated, which are directly converted into products. Impetus for this comes from workshops offered by the CFM.



Prototyping, Upscaling, Know how-Transfer

Small and medium-sized companies have difficulty developing new fibre-based materials on a laboratory or pilot scale and even more trouble when attempting to implement such innovations into industrial products. The CFM closes this gap through completing the process chain with the latest machine technology (from polymer to product), advanced analytics and a scientific innovation team. The substantive fields of activity are:

  1. Production of high-strength synthetic fibres and functional fibres (e.g. for the automotive, aerospace and medical industries)
  2. Textile rapid prototyping including simulation and analysis (for technical textiles and composites)
  3. Upscaling of laboratory processes from basic research into industrial production benchmarks (for all areas which use textiles, especially automotive, chemical fibre, aerospace and medical industries).



Affordable for SME - long-term job security for NRW

By supplying medium-sized businesses with pre-competitive research and small businesses with affordable proposals, CFM helps to distribute know how, to develop prototypes and to optimise manufacturing processes. The new centre will be opened on the  7th of December 2012 with the NRW Minister of Science Svenja Schulze in attendance. The CFM was establish with the support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union in order to provide SMEs with the ability to access the best research, scientific support and analytics, and to secure long term jobs in NRW.



Example: New ways tomanufacture carbon fibres

The following project has been implemented by the CFM in the area of carbon fibres: The manufacturing process of carbon fibres is enhanced through the improvement of polyacrylonitrile precursor fibres. Thus, technical conditions are explored which may create new applications and markets for carbon fibres and composites prepared there from. For example, carbon fibre used as a structural material in mid-range vehicles is one promising area of development.


The aim is to implement medium to high performance requirements for carbon fibres in large volume applications outside of aircrafts.

The CFM is headed by PD Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt. Ing Gunnar Seide.


A portion of CFM’s new centre was created using the world’s first widespread light-concrete façade, developed by lucem GmbH, Stolberg. Dr. Andreas Roye, a managing director of lucem GmbH, completed his PhD at ITA.



About the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University

The core expertise of Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University is the development of textile machinery and components, new materials and new methods for the production of textiles. For industry partners, ITA offers advanced training, workshops and research and development projects in cooperation with its partner company 3T TextilTechnologieTransfer GmbH. Furthermore, ITA educates students in various subjects concerning technical textiles. Beyond that the opportunity to graduate with a Doctorate (Dr.-Ing.) exists.



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