Project launch „carboHEAT“: Development of a hybrid lightweight structure with integrated heating element made from recycled carbon fibres

In May, the research project "carboHEAT" funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU) was launched. In cooperation with the company Hotset GmbH, a global supplier of industrial heating elements and temperature control technology, the development of a hybrid lightweight structure with an integrated heating element made of recycled carbon fibres will be advanced within the next 18 months.

At the same time, this research project aims to open up further novel and innovative fields of application for recycled carbon fibres from the steadily increasing CFRP waste streams. Particularly promising are those applications in which, in addition to mechanical reinforcement, other properties of the carbon fibres can be used.

The innovative heating element consists of a fleece made of recycled carbon fibres, whose function is based on the very good electrical conductivity of the carbon fibres. When an electrical voltage is applied, the fleece acts as a resistor, which leads to an efficient conversion of electrical energy into heat. For the design of the hybrid lightweight structure, materials are selected according to the requirements, including electrical and thermal insulation. In terms of functional integration, the heating element is combined with the appropriate materials to create a functional prototype.

The developed lightweight structure can be used, for example, in the de-icing of rotor blades of wind turbines or the heating of batteries in electric vehicles and thus generate an additional benefit.