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FuPro: for highly dynamic mould technologyLight, stable and suitable for series production thanks to metal 3D printing

Lightweight construction concepts are playing an increasingly important role in the electric vehicle industry. The FuPro research project, in which Hofmann Impulsgeber is significantly involved, aims to take precisely this aspect into account.

The requirement

The objective is an efficient and series-ready process to produce hollow profiles from textile-thermoplastic composite materials in combination with organic sheets and injection moulding compounds. Because hybrid structures such as these have enormous lightweight construction potential.

The solution

Those involved in the FuPro research project have developed a self-contained process chain, from the fibre, manufacture of semi-finished products, preforming and consolidation of the hollow profile to injection moulding. The experts attached great importance to a holistic approach in which each step of the process was rethought and optimised for the requirements of lightweight construction. Important optimisations were also made with regard to suitability for large-scale production.

The success

Twelve industrial companies and two institutes are involved in the FuPro research project and have achieved important successes. A core element of the consolidation process is a variothermal moulding tool that was manufactured using metal 3D printing. This tool meets the following high demands of automotive applications without any problems:

  • When processing the hybrid yarn fabric, the cavity can be heated from 80°C to 250°C and then cooled down again within a very short time.
  • The entire manufacturing process takes no longer than 180 seconds.
  • Delicate structures such as temperature control channels located 2 millimetres below the mould surface can be visualised.

Funded by

Supervised by

Project participants