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Herbert Hänchen GmbH in Ostfildern, near Stuttgart, has developed a new carbon fiber reinforced plastic, known as ‘H-CFRP’. The plastic combines the key material properties of steel cylinders with an ultra-low weight, making hydraulic cylinders 70% lighter. Leichtbau BW, the public development agency serving companies and research groups in Baden-Wuerttemberg, awarded the company the ‘ ThinKing ’ label for its innovation last year.

H-CFRP can be used on all parts with an extremely smooth surface (surface roughness 1) and tight tolerances (ISO 7). Properties like these make the material ideal for use in hydraulic cylinders. The material’s significantly lower weight, compared to that of steel, also enables faster accelerations, which reduces the energy consumption of the cylinders by up to 50%. To create the H-CFRP material, Herbert Hänchen GmbH had to develop new technologies to design the component and to bind the CFRP and metal. They also had to develop a hard and wear-resistant surface, which seals in the core carbon material.