The 40 scientists from Europa, Asia and the USA are hoping that this will give impetus to research and industry. The difficulty currently lies in the shortage of materials: “If we manage to obtain the fibers from plant raw materials, it will facilitate future areas of growth in lightweight construction”, stresses Prof. Hubert Jäger from the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology at Dresden Technical University . Lightweight engineering is one of the most important interdisciplinary fields in terms of (electric) mobility and energy-saving, Prof. Jäger continues. Carbon fibers are, in turn, the most modern and lightest design material in the automobile and construction industries. Currently only around 70,000 metric tons of carbon fiber a year are available, however, and the fiber is produced from petroleum. In ten to 15 years, around 800,000 metric tons will be required. Prof. Jäger therefore sees obtaining carbon fiber from alternative raw materials as the basis for a new industry.
Saxony is developing into an excellent location for the lightweight engineering industry in any case. The regional parliament recently agreed to continue developing research in this area. blick.de quotes Science Minister Eva-Maria Stange (SPD): “We are supporting the foundation of the Leichtbau-Allianz Sachsen (Lightweight Engineering Alliance of Saxony) comprising the three technical universities with two million euros”. Research is also being carried out into lightweight products for the automobile sector and the aerospace industry at other research establishments in the state, in collaboration with regional partners from business.