In 2015 and 2016, we defined four new development areas. One of these specific research areas is additive manufacturing (3D printing) of components made from carbon and related materials. Working with several external partners, we test and develop prototypes. Our 3D printed products are already available under the brand names CARBOPRINT® and SICAPRINT®. In the area of innovative carbon fiber textiles and innovative fiber composite materials we are working on the fundamental development of carbon fiber-based products. These products are used for example in the fields of cleantech and civil engineering. The fourth area, innovative coatings for carbon-based materials, involves expanding our coating expertise to offer our clients an even broader range of applications for our carbon-based products.
Another development focus is carbon fiber reinforced ceramics. This material (SIGRASIC®) is already being used commercially in high performance carbon ceramic brake discs. Within Central Innovation, we continuously develop the material properties in order to open up new applications.
At our carbon fiber pilot plant, we develop the carbon fibers of the future. Our focus in this context is the deeper understanding and the optimization of process parameters.
To meet the requirements of the growing electromobility market, we are working on the next generation anode material for lithium-ion batteries and carbon fiber-based components for fuel cells. We are focusing on new anode materials based on nanosilicon and carbon composites for lithium-ion batteries, which will enable higher storage capacity and thus longer ranges in electric cars. In the area of fuel cells, we are working successfully to commercialize our gas diffusion layer technology. In this context, we have already concluded long-term contracts with Hyundai Motor Group.
Our projects are supported by an internal team for modelling and simulation. Methods such as finite element analysis or computational fluid dynamics accelerate our development work. In addition, this team is available for our customers as a modelling service provider. With innovative digital methods, we create the greatest possible benefit in terms of costs, performance and time-to-market.
From ideation to definition and implementation, our projects follow a clear stringency. This stringency is accelerated in the daily project work by agile methods. It is particularly important for us to involve our customers and development partners as early as possible. Together with them, we develop innovative solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow.