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Hemp Tape


Novel staple fibre-reinforced semi-finished products with unidirectional fibre orientation (UD tapes) based on application-optimised hemp fibres and biopolymers as a resource-efficient alternative for glass fiber components. 


07/2022 - 08/2025

The aim of the "HempTape" project is to build on the findings of previous work and to develop a resource-efficient and thus low-CO2-emission material alternative to widely used glass fiber reinforced thermoplastics for high-performance applications.  

The Hemp Tape project can draw on already developed production technologies for the manufacture of semi-finished surface products with unidirectional natural fibre arrangement (bio-UD tapes) on a pilot plant scale. These, as well as the further processing, will be optimised in the project with regard to their suitability for series production and further developed to a pilot level. 


In contrast to the state of the art, which has always failed due to the unsuitable cost structures of the processing technologies and raw materials with regard to industrial transfer, the approach of the planned project specifically addresses the economic efficiency and thus the transferability of both raw materials and processes (cost savings potential of at least 45 % compared to the currently published development status).  


To this end, the project is also looking at the conception and initiation of resource-efficient value chains for the provision of bio-based raw materials and semi-finished products for high-performance applications, as well as possible recycling concepts. The development results are to be demonstrated on the basis of a generic use case (a component that is already being mass-produced from glass fiber). This also forms the basis for a comparative ecological balance and evaluation to precisely determine CO2 saving potentials through material substitution.  

In its partner structure, the project places a strong focus on interdisciplinarity and the use of the resulting synergy effects. On the one hand, emphasis is placed on vertical networking of the actors from research via innovative small and medium-sized enterprises to large industrial companies. 


In addition to the increasing requirements of the manufacturing industry and the users of products in terms of product quality, the questions of material composition and recyclability are also becoming more relevant. Bio-based materials are thus increasingly becoming the focus of interest due to their sustainable and technical properties.  


At present, petrochemical products are preferred by industry to natural-based materials with their natural property fluctuations because of the constant material quality. However, biological raw materials, in particular natural fibres - as proven by a wide range of research activities - are certainly capable of transferring their high-performance properties into technical fibre composite semi-finished components and products, thus enabling a low weight or a low-CO2 emission life cycle.  


So far, the widespread use of natural fibre composites for lightweight applications has been limited to applications with low load requirements. This is due to both a lack of technologies for efficient, load-optimised utilisation of natural fibre properties and a lack of supply chains for high-quality raw materials at prices suitable for industry.

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exec. MBA Matthias Böhme

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