Research in the following fields:

- Fibre reinforced plastic composites (carbon, glass, aramide, natural fibres)

- Flow processes in plastic manufacturing (RTM, VARI, injection moulding)

- material modification (natural fibre, thermoset resin systems)

- material characterisation (rheology, thermal analysis, universal mechanical analysis)

An alternative joining technology - Resistance welding of thermosetting CFRP structures

What we offer

Riveting and adhesive bonding are two of the joining technologies for parts made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) that are established in the aerospace and automobile industry. However, these methods have a number of disadvantages, which is why scientists are exploring the potential of alternative joining technology, such as resistance welding of CFRP structures, as presented here.

Applying a thermoplastic functional layer to the CFRP structure during production enables the nonmeltable
thermoset parts to be bonded by welding. The heating element between the areas to be bonded is a CF fabric impregnated with thermoplastic, called a cartrode. Joule heating of the cartrode melts the thermoplastic functional layer, enabling the areas to be joined. The resistance welding process comprises four steps: loading and clamping the parts, welding under bonding pressure, cooling under bonding pressure and demoulding the part.

The accurate selection and handling of the heating element are crucial in order to achieve ideal heat distribution, and consequently the high mechanical properties of the final part. The exhibit presented by Clausthal University of Technology’s Institute of Polymer Materials and Plastics Engineering shows the heating up of the cartrode, whereby the heat distribution is visualised by an infra-red camera. The heating test demonstrates the procedure and challenges
involved in the resistance welding process.

Other exhibits represent welded demonstrators that show the advantages of the technique. The high mechanical properties of the welded joints prove that the resistance welding of thermoset CFRP structures can be considered a good alternative to established joining technologies.

What we are looking for

Research and industrial cooperation.


  • Ideas, proposals, partnerships for projects within research and intelligent energy programmes

Collaboration sought

  • Research & Development
  • Technical Co-operation


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