The staple fiber manufacturer IFGAsota GmbH, Linz/Austria, and the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) of Maastricht University, Maastricht/Netherlands, and RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany, have established a joint pilot plant for the research production of staple fibers.
The aim is to upscale from laboratory to industrial scale. Around 20% of all fiber materials world-wide are melt-spun staple fibers, representing a production-volume of approx. 20 million tons/year. Since new polymers can only prove their performance in practice, relevant quantities have to be produced. This is not possible solely on a laboratory scale.
To date, there has been no pilot scale research facility in Europe. The facilities, which can also be used by third parties, will among other things research the key future topics (electro)mobility and lightweight construction combined with environmental sustainability, and will give students an insight into everyday industrial R&D life. The planned opening date is June 4, 2019.