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Adhesive-Free Joining of Metal and Fiber Composites – HyFiVE Project Provides New Knowledge

The "HyFiVE" project, in which experts from the SKZ Plastics Center in Halle (Saale) played a key role, came to an end at the end of December. The project provided groundbreaking insights into the adhesive-free joining of metal and fiber-reinforced plastic components, which will benefit the shipbuilding industry in particular.

Lightweight construction, a key element of sustainable transportation, has been slow to catch on in shipbuilding. The reason: inadequate joining technologies for fiber composites and steel. The research project "Hybrid Joining Technology for Joints in Maritime Applications" (HyFiVE), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), enabled five industrial companies and three scientific institutions to develop and evaluate new technologies for maritime applications. The project, which ran from May 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023, made an outstanding contribution to the industrial use of materials in shipbuilding.

HyFiVE Research Project Provides Knowledge for Joining Technologies for Use in Maritime Lightweight Construction
Under the leadership of SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG, the project partners - including SKZ, ar engineers GmbH, Fritz Moll Textilwerke GmbH & Co. KG, Faserinstitut Bremen e.V., Hyconnect GmbH, Schweißtechnische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Halle GmbH and EIKBOOM GmbH - were able to gain new insights into hybrid components made of metal and fiber-reinforced plastic. The results provide extensive knowledge about surface processes and how to improve adhesion. The researchers were also able to integrate metallic connectors directly into various fiber composite manufacturing processes and demonstrate the applicability of non-destructive testing methods already used in the field of conventional joints. The applicability of established fire protection systems to lightweight composite parts was also demonstrated. Thanks to the involvement of many companies along the entire value chain, the development results have already been tested for practicability and scalability. In other words, practical research that can provide direct added value to the industry.

SKZ composites and joining experts make valuable contribution to project
With its location in Halle an der Saale, SKZ has established a knowledge cluster for fiber-reinforced plastics. With its extensive expertise in bonding and testing technology, it was an obvious choice to participate. "The results of the HyFiVE project are very promising and we are pleased to be able to contribute to the use of these composite materials. The functionality in combination with metal components as a potential alternative to bonding has been clearly demonstrated," says Jana Fieder, Group Leader in the Composites Research Department at SKZ.


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