Efficiency in composite lightweight construction – ITA nominated for AiF’s Otto von Guericke Award 2017

Textile composition of a fuselage

Berlin, Germany, 6 December 2017                                 Fibre- reinforced composites provide high stability and limited weight which is essential in lightweight construction. Until recently, high cost in production prevented a wider application in the industry in comparison to other materials. Dr Christopher Lenz, alumni of the Institut für Texiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University, was nominated for this year’s Otto von Guericke Award, presented by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), for his research findings in Open Reed Weaving. Within the framework of the AiF project “Multiax-Structure: Single-stage production of local reinforced textile structures on the basis of multiax-fabrics”, he developed the necessary skills that allow an expanded application of Open Reed Weavings.


For three years, there has been a new technique in weaving, the so-called Open Reed Weaving which allows the local reinforcement within reinforced textiles. When applying this new technology, the number of steps in further processes and the amount of waste decreases,” explains Lenz. “So far, little has been known about the technology’s potential, how to apply it in industrial productions and the integration into well-established processes,” adds Prof. Dr Thomas Gries, Director of the ITA. “The results that have been achieved in the context of the nominated IGF-project, finally allow an industrial application of this process.”

Thorsten Overkamp, head of carbon fibre weaving C. Cramer, Weberei, GmbH & Co. KG in Nienborg, is delighted about the IGF results: “The technology has a tremendous potential. Particularly attractive for our medium-sized company are the software tools, developed during the project. They facilitate the access to this new technology.”

The process helps the small-scale and medium-sized industry to decrease production time and cost in order to stand up to international comparison.

You can find a three minute clip about the project under the following link: https://www.aif.de/mediathek/videos/otto-von-guericke-preis-2017.html (Only available in German – thank you in advance for your kind understanding).

Caption: Textile composition of a fuselage, source: ITA

Contact person: Prof. Dr Thomas Gries