Researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting the “Bioconcept Car” at the IAA 2021. In collaboration with HOBUM Oleochemicals, Porsche Motorsport and the Four Motors racing team, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI are developing lightweight components for vehicle bodies. The natural-fiber-reinforced bioplastics thereby utilized have been specially developed for this purpose and serve as a substitute for conventional composite materials.
Visitors to the IAA 2021 will be able to take a closer look at both the “Bioconcept-Car” racing car, equipped with bio body parts, and a vehicle door made from natural-fiber-reinforced plastic (NFRP), which will be exhibited by the Fraunhofer WKI at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s joint stand. The “Bioconcept-Car” from the Four Motors racing team is a rolling test laboratory for environmentally friendly vehicle technologies in the fields of biofuels, lightweight bio-components and re-refined oil. During racing, their suitability for series production is tested under extreme conditions. The development of the lightweight bio-components is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) via the project management organization Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FNR).
The researchers are currently further developing the vehicle door in order to achieve a biogenic content of 85 percent. For this purpose, natural fibers, bio-based resin/hardener mixtures and bio-based paint systems are being utilized. For the pilot vehicle “Bioconcept-Car”, Fraunhofer WKI scientists have already developed body parts made from 100 percent natural fibers as reinforcement components. During the development phase, various natural fibers such as hemp, jute and flax were deployed. Although natural fibers exhibit lower stiffnesses and strengths compared to carbon fibers, the values achieved nonetheless completely fulfill the application-specific requirements. In addition to their mechanical properties, natural fibers offer a variety of other advantages when compared with carbon. These include (vibration) damping and acoustic properties as well as a significantly lower tendency to splinter. This helps to reduce the risk of injury in the event of accidents. A further advantage of the innovative natural-fiber components is their good recyclability.
With this project, the Fraunhofer WKI is supporting the development of a bio-based economy (bio-economy).
As a result of the Corona pandemic, the IAA 2021 will take place as an attendance event with a digital extension (hybrid format) and with the integration of a hygiene concept. From 7th to 12th September 2021, the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting its research at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s joint stand in the Open Space at Königsplatz in Munich, Stand KP185.
Background of the Fraunhofer WKI
Sustainability through the utilization of renewable raw materials has formed the focus at the Fraunhofer WKI for 75 years. The institute, with locations in Braunschweig, Hanover and Wolfsburg, specializes in process engineering, natural-fiber composites, binders and coatings, wood and emission protection, quality assurance of wood products, material and product testing, recycling procedures and the utilization of organic building materials and wood in construction. Virtually all the procedures and materials resulting from the research activities are applied industrially.
Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL)
Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR) e.V.
Four Motors GmbH
Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI)