Research & Development

2018-03-01

Up to 5% weight reduction in automotive applications

Research assistant Robert Brüll, Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University, headed by Prof. Thomas Gries, won the second price of the RWTH Innovation Award. He was honoured with the award for his project “OrganoGlas”.

OrganoGlas designates an innovative and transparent fibre-reinforced plastic. It is transparent, high strengthening, lightweight, easily malleable and recyclable. Until now, the mobility sector (automobile, railway, aerospace) uses comparatively heavy glass parts. OrganoGlas reaches 10 times higher stabilities than laminated glass. Within automobile manufacturing it can achieve up to 5 % reduction in weight in a complete vehicle. Windows in airplanes could be enlarged by simultaneously reducing weight. Furthermore, with the application of OrganoGlas, new concepts in design and structuring, e.g. transparent A-pillars in automobiles are possible.

Background information: 

Transparent materials are applied in a wide range from niche applications within plant engineering to mass applications in the mobility sector. The automotive sector is one of the most important customers of transparent materials in Germany with 17.4 million tons of processed laminated glass per year. Especially in mobility applications, weight reduction is essential in terms of fuel savings and reduction of emissions. There are still no marketable solutions for the transparent lightweight construction. Within automobiles and trains, heavy glass panels are implemented. Elaborate frame constructions are needed in order to realise the application of windows in airplanes. The new “OrganoGlas” concept could be able to fill this gap.

Outlook:

At the moment, the material is under development and should be marketable within the next two years. Initially, the mobility sector will be the target group. Later on, more industries can be included.

The RWTH Innovation Award was conferred for the fourth time. Every year, three projects are awarded that emphasise the innovative capabilities of the region of Aachen.

Prof. Malte Brettel, Vice-Rector for Industry and Business Relations of RWTH Aachen University, handed over the certificates within the framework of the RWTH transparent event in the main building of RWTH Aachen.

ITA was already multiple times winner of the RWTH Innovation Award. In 2017, ITA won first place for the project „4D textile – additive manufacturing of hybrid materials for temporarily shape shifting applications”.

Prof. Malte Brettel (RWTH Aachen University), Robert Brüll (ITA) and Prof. Thomas Gries (ITA) with the RWTH Innovation Award (from left to right), Photo: Andreas Schmitter
Prof. Malte Brettel (RWTH Aachen University), Robert Brüll (ITA) and Prof. Thomas Gries (ITA) with the RWTH Innovation Award (from left to right), Photo: Andreas Schmitter


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