The DLR Center for Lightweight Production Technology (Zentrum für Leichtbauproduktionstechnologie; ZLP) has two research sites, which are located in Augsburg and Stade. Its main focus is the automated production of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) components for the aerospace, transport and energy sectors.
Several DLR institutes work together at the ZLP: the Institute of Structures and Design, the Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems and the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. This enables DLR to reproduce the entire CFRP engineering process chain – from the material to the automated production.
Using one-of-a-kind, multifunctional, large-scale facilities, the ZLP develops strategies for manufacturing large, high-quality CFRP components in a cost-effective manner. To achieve this, every step in the process is studied, integrated and, using the appropriate technical infrastructure, reproduced on an industrial scale. This setup is also available to customers for flexible development and validation in tandem with the DLR production processes according to their requirements.
CFRP is a material used for, among other things, manufacturing next-generation commercial aircraft – lighter, more fuel-efficient and more environmentally friendly with regard to pollutant emissions.
CFRP is also increasingly used in the manufacture of automobiles and rotor blades for wind power generation systems. To meet this growing demand, high-quality, cost-effective production methods are needed. The ZLP is conducting research on an industrial scale to be able to respond specifically and flexibly to the particular requirements of the respective industry.