P-D Glasseiden, European Carbon Fiber and Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. are establishing CarboSax GmbH

Development of sustainable Carbon Fibres

Chemnitz, (PresseBox) - A new technology has been given the starting signal beginning from the 1st of October in the state of Saxony. The mid-size companies, PD Glasseiden, European Carbon Fiber GmbH and the ForschungsCampus Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. start the joint venture CarboSax GmbH, which pursues the objective of developing, manufacturing and distribution of carbon fibers in Germany.

Carbon fibers are the key raw material for modern lightweight construction technologies and are therefore referred to as "steel of the 21st century". They are used in new commercial aircraft designs, which consume significantly less fuel compared to the previous models, but also in spacecrafts, wind turbines, sporting goods and more recently in large production volume series vehicles.

In the first step at a location in Chemnitz, Saxony, a pilot line for the sustainable production of carbon fibers will be built from the CarboSax GmbH, thus creating the basis for both specialised niche production and future full-scale plants in Germany. With the decision for this location, the strong capabilities in the textile region of Saxony are complemented and simultaneously a strong partner network created with relevant activities in Lower Saxony, Bavaria and other federal states. The aim is to establish the entire value chain for Carbon Composites with powerful pilot plants in Germany.

The traditional industry of textile machines and textile processing and pioneering expertise in lightweight construction with fiber-reinforced composites have resulted in technical textiles to be at the center of a future growth market in Saxony. Fiber-reinforced composites with carbon fibers have very beneficial weight-related mechanical properties. Based on fiber reinforced plastics, components can be manufactured, which allow up to 50% weight reduction over comparable steel parts and 30% compared to steel components.

With the competence to manufacture carbon fibers the established local industrial core competence is complemented by a central expertise in materials production. The objective of this carbon fiber pilot line production at CarboSax GmbH is a significant reduction in production costs by 30% over currently available commercial carbon fibers. This cost reduction is required to further enable the use of carbon fiber in mass production in the automotive industry, mechanical engineering and wind power. An equivalent objective of CarboSax GmbH is to optimize the CO2 footprint with a CO2 emission reduction in the carbon fiber line of at least 50%.

In order to achieve that, excess wind power in the pilot line will be stored locally and the energy-intensive operation of the carbon fiber line will be optimized through system optimization and improved operating strategies. The objective of this pilot line production is to set the world wide benchmark in local carbon fiber production using renewable energy sources. In addition, following the local production, long transport distances of the carbon fibers produced become unnecessary and thereby additional CO2 emissions are avoided.

An essential part of the technology development is the use of, with respect to their environmental performance, significantly improved precursor materials. In order to achieve that an increasing substitution of the petroleum-based raw material ACN (acrylonitrile) used to date, will be substituted by increasing amounts of renewable resources such as Lignin. In addition the reprotoxic solvents, currently used will be worldwide for the first time replaced by non-toxic solvents and thus a substantial improvement of the environmental performance can be achieved.

Cutting-edge technologies to improve overall system performance and automated process control and monitoring will be used in the pilot line of CarboSax GmbH. In particular, the increased processing speed based on improved process control during the various stages of the process offers great potential to reduce costs. Another focus will be the implementation of the latest findings in materials research. Quantum mechanical approaches enable improved process control from substantive thermodynamic knowledge of the reaction kinetics.

With the localisation of CarboSax GmbH in Chemnitz another innovative company in Saxony will be built, that complements the established processing industry. An important for the establishment in Chemnitz is the existing excellent university landscape with highly trained top scientists in a vibrant innovation environment with a variety of existing networks and the availability of an existing modern infrastructure.

P-D Glasseiden GmbH

P-D Glasfiber is a fiberglass producer based in Germany which manufactures a wide range of fiber glass products, ranging from yarns and fiber bundles to woven fiber bundles, fiber mats, multiaxial fiber fabrics to coated fibers. The group has 9 production sites in Europe, Asia and North America. P-D fiber glass has its business activities focused on customized solutions for various industries, ranging from the building manufacturing and public infrastructure to the automotive and aerospace industries.

Dolan Gruppe

DOLAN is a medium-sized company established in Kelheim, Bavaria, a producer of acrylic fiber specialties and commercial carbon fiber precursor fibers. Dolan will design and manufacture new precursor fibers in close cooperation with Carbosax, and take over the marketing of the carbon fibers. Dolan produced since 2009 in large plants economic precursor fibers that have already been successfully introduced in the market. The main product of DOLAN are spun-dyed fibers for high quality outdoor applications.

Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V.

The public-private partnership Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. was established in 2012 under the auspices of the Lower Saxony Research Centre for Vehicle Technology at the TU Braunschweig and Volkswagen AG.

The Lightweight Campus Open Hybrid LabFactory aims to establish manufacturing technologies suitable for mass production for economically and environmentally sustainable production of hybrid lightweight components made of metals, plastics and textile structures. The entire value chain for hybrid components has been established; from conceptual design to carbon fiber production and hybrid production processes through to recycling.

Dolan Holding GmbH
Regensburger Straße 109
D-93309 Kelheim
P-D Glasseiden
Wellerswalder Weg 17,
 04758 Oschatz

Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V.
Hermann-Münch-Straße 2
38440 Wolfsburg

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