Thermosetting and thermoplastic (bio-)composites are being developed in the IfBB labs in collaboration with the HOFZET Application Center (Fraunhofer WKI) using state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. Besides application-oriented materials development, research is also focusing on the processing behaviour of these new materials and the relationships between material composition and processing behaviour.

Technical equipment:

  • Vacuum infusion system including accessories
  • Rucks manual lever heating press
  • Equipment for the manual surface modification of yarns and fabrics and individual fibres
  • Double gripper weaving machine with jacquard technology for the production of single and multi-layer technical textiles
  • Fibre spraying machine
  • Diamond sample saw
  • CNC milling machine for sample preparation
  • Rucks basket press in column construction

Rucks manual lever heating press

Rucks manual lever heating press, source: IfBB
Rucks manual lever heating press, source: IfBB

A manual lever heating press is used for the production of flat test specimens made of long fibre composite materials. This facilitates the processing of both thermosets and thermoplastics (organic sheets). For purely thermoset material composites, the vacuum fusion process is used.

Technical details:

  • Pressing area: 320 x 320 mm
  • Pressing force: 80 kN
  • Maximum pressure: 280 bar
  • Area pressure: 0.8 N/mm2
  • Temperature: up to 410 °C (continuous temperature of 410 °C limited to 2 h)
  • Temperature of the plates independently adjustable
  • Precise force generation: 0-80 kN
  • Maximum opening force: 28 kN

Possible applications:

  • Organic sheets for further processing for shaping components
  • FKV for light construction applications, for example in the automotive sector

Double gripper weaving machine with jacquard technology for the production of single and multi-layer technical textiles

Technical details:

  • Double gripper
  • Jacquard attachment
  • Implementation of web widths up to 50 cm
  • Winder for 3456 coils
  • Manufacturing possibilities of technical fabrics:

Two-dimensional fabrics

  • Spacer fabrics (distances up to 40 mm)
  • Integration of matrix yarns in textile semi-finished products
  • Multi-layer fabric
  • Hybrid fabric
  • Function integration
  • Load-optimised production of hybrid fibre composite materials


  • Development of application-specific textile semi-finished products from hybrid material systems
  • Providing cost-optimised, sustainable high-performance composite materials with the highest possible biogenic content
  • Combination of bioplastics, natural, glass, carbon and synthetic polymer fibres
  • Recyclability

Fibre spraying machine

Fibre spraying machine, source: Fraunhofer WKI, Carsten Asshoff
Fibre spraying machine, source: Fraunhofer WKI, Carsten Asshoff

Technical details and equipment:

  • Reproducible, industrial cutting of natural fibres, carbon fibres, hybrid fibres, brittle fibres (glass, basalt), tough elastic fibres (thermoplastic synthetic fibres), etc.
  • Transport of four yarns or rovings simultaneously via separate hoses
  • Cutting capacity depending on fibre type: 5 to 25 kg/h
  • Process-safe fibre length: 1-100 mm
  • Continuously variable cutting length during the running process
  • Use of commercially available and newly developed polymer matrices (epoxy, polyurethane, etc.)
  • Processing of 2K resin systems
  • Viscosity:  < 3000 mPas
  • Component weight: up to max. 400 kg
  • Component size: up to approx. 1000 mm x 1000 mm


  • Resource-saving and low-waste production
  • Production of large-area and complex components
  • Cost savings through final production
  • Process steps such as creating a textile, cutting and draping are no longer required
  • Unique component properties through targeted adaptation of the surface weight and the length of the fibre cut to the component geometry ("tailored composites")
  • Local, specific property profiles of a component according to component load
  • Unique combination of previously uncoated fibres with variable cutting length and simultaneous "wet" injection in 2D, 2.5 D and 3D applications
  • Introducing inserts into the component, such as connecting elements, threads, etc.
  • Reduction of investment and production costs
  • Easy integration into existing production lines

Rucks basket press in column construction

Function: production of fibre-plastic composites (FKV) consisting of textile semi-finished products and thermoplastic/thermosetting matrix, and thermoforming processes

Technical details:

  • Nominal pressure force 1000 kN
  • Hydraulic pressure (adjustable) 32 - 320 bar
  • Pressing force range 100 to 1000 kN
  • Heating plate size of 500 mm x 500 mm
  • Max. tool dimensions 700 mm x 500 mm
  • Temperature up to 300 °C via 9 separately controllable heating zones
  • Control accuracy:  +/- 1K (at 160 °C) and +/- 2 K at 250 °C
  • Adjustable cooling gradient up to max. 20 K/min (in the range of 300 °C to 130 °C)
  • Closing speed 90 mm/s
  • Pressing speed 1.5 - 2.5 mm/s; opening speed 90 mm/s
  • Possibility of up to 60 consecutive technology steps for programming the entire pressing process

Applications: thermoplastic fibre-reinforced plastics (so-called organic sheets) for further processing for shaping components and FKV for lightweight construction applications. Automated combination with injection moulding process for positive injection moulding or injection moulding of formed components.

Water jet cutting machine

Water jet cutting machine, Source: IfBB
Water jet cutting machine, Source: IfBB

Function: Thanks to waterjet cutting, virtually all types of material can be machined with high precision, purely mechanical and without thermal transfer. For bioplastics and bio composites, pure water is usually used for water jet cutting. If necessary, a hard powdery material can be added to the water for abrasive cutting.

Technical details:

  • Work Area X/Y-axis: 2,020 x 1,020 mm
  • Work Area Z-axis: 200 mm
  • Cutting Speed: 1 to 30,000 mm/min
  • Positional and repetitive accuracy: +/- 50 µm
  • Pump pressure: 300 to 3,800 bar (continuously)
  • Load: max. 1,000 kg/m2