Minimization of Vehicular Energy Demand

Capacity Area A3 investigates technologies and strategies to minimize non-propulsive energy demand of vehicles for improved efficiency. This includes the reduction of vehicle mass by replacing conventional materials such as aluminum or steel with lighter ones. To achieve this, new pro-cessing routes for high volume production of lightweight thermoplastic and bioinspired composites with outstanding mechanical properties are being developed. In addition, Capacity Area A3 elaborates a modeling framework to assess the actual energy demand of conventional and alternatively propelled vehicles, which are investigated in Capacity Areas A1 and A2. In a second step, this will be used to determine optimal combinations of new lightweight materials and alternative propulsion systems.

Prof. Dr. Paolo Ermanni
Head of Laboratory of Composite Materials
and Adaptive Structures at ETH Zürich / 044 633 63 06

ETH Zürich
Laboratory of Composite Materials and Adaptive Structures, IDMS-CMAS
Prof. Dr. Paolo Ermanni, Coordinator

Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites, LPAC
Prof. Dr. Véronique Michaud, Deputy Coordinator

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW
Institut für Kunststofftechnik, IKT
Prof. Clemens Dransfeld

ETH Zürich
Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory, LAV
Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos

ETH Zürich
Laboratory for Complex Materials, CML
Prof. Dr. André Studart

New Routes to lightweight composites

  • Define demonstrator, list of agreed parameters
  • Demonstrator(s) of composite parts via proposed routes ready
  • Demonstrator(s) of composite parts via proposed routes benchmarked.
  • Processing routes for approaches (a)-(c) established and demonstrated.

Bio-inspired lightweight composites

  • Microstructural parameter study. Promising approach(es) identified.
  • Demonstrator parts fabricated and evaluated using promising approach(es).

Thermal Management

  • Environmental footprint and hygrothermal performance of insulation strategies.

Thermoplastic composites via low viscosity melt impregnation

  • Report on out-of-plane impregnation [12, 2018]
  • Report on in-plane impregnation [12, 2018]
  • Manufacturing go/no go for industrial impregnation tool scheduled [12, 2017]
  • Industrial impregnation tool [12, 2018]
  • Industrial impregnation tool validation [12, 2019]
  • Competitiveness identified [12, 2020]
  • Characteristic parts and reported performance [12, 2020]

Direct consolidation via hybrid yarn route

  • Manufacturing infrastructure [12, 2020]
  • Consolidation models for hybrid yarns [6, 2018]
  • Report on bicomponent fiber manufacturing [6, 2018]
  • Report on direct consolidation on hybrid yarns [12, 2018]
  • Industrial demonstration of hybrid yarn consolidation [12, 2020]
  • Report on industrial demonstration of hybrid yarn consolidation [12, 2020]

Cost and life cycle inventory of processing routes

  • Life cycle inventory is complete [12, 2019]
  • Database with life cycle inventory for processes under consideration [12, 2019]
  • Life cycle and cost performances identified [12, 2020]
  • Report of life cycle and cost performance of processes [12, 2020]

Development of bio-inspired materials and structures

  • Bioinspired ceramic composites dissemination milestone [1, 2018]
  • Report on structure property relation of bioinspired ceramic composites [1, 2018]
  • Engineering application scale-up milestone [7, 2019]
  • Engineering application demonstration milestone [12, 2020]
  • Report on heterogeneous architecture of bioinspired composites [12, 2020]

Modelling of propulsive and non-propulsive energy demand

  • Report/paper on calibrated and validated real-world energy demand model [12, 2018]
  • Model for passenger cars validated [1, 2018]
  • Model for heavy-duty vehicles available [6, 2018]
  • Calibrated and validated real-world energy demand model available for design development [12, 2018]

Minimizing vehicular energy demand through design

  • Extended simulation framework for optimal design of vehicles available including thermal considerations for future mobility demand is available [6, 2019]
  • Documentation on extended framework [6, 2019]
  • Publication of design strategies and new designs available [12, 2020]

Master and semester project reports

V. Bersier, Effect of Manufacturing Parameters on Thermo-mechanical Deformation of Composite Structures Using the powerRibs Technology, EPFL Master Thesis in collaboration with B-Comp, March 2016

T. Bouchet, Processing and Characterization of composites with low viscosity thermoplastic matrix, EPFL Master semester project report, June 2015.

R.Triguera, Improved fabric permeability for a melt-RTM process, EPFL Master semester project report, January 2016.


Caglar, B., Salvatori, D., Sozer, E. M., & Michaud, V. (2018). In-plane permeability distribution mapping of isotropic mats using flow front detection. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 113, 275–286.

Eichenhofer, M., Wong, J. C. H., & Ermanni, P. (2018). Exploiting cyclic softening in continuous lattice fabrication for the additive manufacturing of high performance fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composite materials. Composites Science and Technology, 164, 248–259.

Kokkinis, D., Bouville, F., & Studart, A. R. (2018). 3D Printing of Materials with Tunable Failure via Bioinspired Mechanical Gradients. Advanced Materials, 1705808.

Studer, J., Keller, A., Leone, F., Stefaniak, D., Dransfeld, C., & Masania, K. (2018). Local reinforcement of aerospace structures using co-curing RTM of metal foil hybrid composites. Production Engineering, 1–7.


Bouville, F., & Studart, A. R. (2017). Geologically-inspired strong bulk ceramics made with water at room temperature. Nature Communications, 8, 14655.

Eichenhofer, M., Wong, J. C. H., & Ermanni, P. (2017). Continuous lattice fabrication of ultra-lightweight composite structures. Additive Manufacturing, 18, 48–57.

Geissberger, R., Maldonado, J., Bahamonde, N., Keller, A., Dransfeld, C., & Masania, K. (2017). Rheological modelling of thermoset composite processing. Composites Part B: Engineering, 124, 182–189.

Grossman, M., Bouville, F., Erni, F., Masania, K., Libanori, R., & Studart, A. R. (2017). Mineral Nano-Interconnectivity Stiffens and Toughens Nacre-like Composite Materials. Advanced Materials, 29(8), 1605039.

Keller, A., Chong, H. M., Taylor, A. C., Dransfeld, C., & Masania, K. (2017). Core-shell rubber nanoparticle reinforcement and processing of high toughness fast-curing epoxy composites. Composites Science and Technology, 147, 78–88.

Roux, M., Eguémann, N., Dransfeld, C., Thiébaud, F., & Perreux, D. (2017). Thermoplastic carbon fibre-reinforced polymer recycling with electrodynamical fragmentation. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 30(3), 381–403.

Rueppel, M., Rion, J., Dransfeld, C., Fischer, C., & Masania, K. (2017). Damping of carbon fibre and flax fibre angle-ply composite laminates. Composites Science and Technology, 146, 1–9.

Schneeberger, C., Wong, J. C. H., & Ermanni, P. (2017). Hybrid bicomponent fibres for thermoplastic composite preforms. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 103, 69–73.

Szmyt, W., Vogel, S., Diaz, A., Holler, M., Gobrecht, J., Calame, M., & Dransfeld, C. (2017). Protective effect of ultrathin alumina film against diffusion of iron into carbon fiber during growth of carbon nanotubes for hierarchical composites investigated by ptychographic X-ray computed tomography. Carbon, 115, 347–362.

Wong, J. C., Blanco, J. M., & Ermanni, P. (2017). Filament winding of aramid/PA6 commingled yarns with in situ consolidation. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 89270571770652.


Bargardi, F. L., Le Ferrand, H., Libanori, R., & Studart, A. R. (2016). Bio-inspired self-shaping ceramics. Nature Communications, 7, 13912.

Keller, A., Masania, K., Taylor, A. C., & Dransfeld, C. (2016). Fast-curing epoxy polymers with silica nanoparticles: properties and rheo-kinetic modelling. Journal of Materials Science, 51(1), 236–251.

Le Ferrand, H., Bolisetty, S., Demirörs, A. F., Libanori, R., Studart, A. R., & Mezzenga, R. (2016). Magnetic assembly of transparent and conducting graphene-based functional composites. Nature Communications, 7, 12078.

Libanori, R., Carnelli, D., Rothfuchs, N., Binelli, M. R., Zanini, M., Nicoleau, L., … Studart, A. R. (2016). Composites reinforced via mechanical interlocking of surface-roughened microplatelets within ductile and brittle matrices. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 11(3), 36004.

Minas, C., Carnelli, D., Tervoort, E., & Studart, A. R. (2016). 3D Printing of Emulsions and Foams into Hierarchical Porous Ceramics. Advanced Materials, 28(45), 9993–9999.

Niebel, T. P., Carnelli, D., Binelli, M. R., Libanori, R., & Studart, A. R. (2016). Hierarchically roughened microplatelets enhance the strength and ductility of nacre-inspired composites. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 60, 367–377.

Studer, J., Dransfeld, C., & Masania, K. (2016). An analytical model for B-stage joining and co-curing of carbon fibre epoxy composites. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 87, 282–289.


Carnelli, D., Libanori, R., Feichtenschlager, B., Nicoleau, L., Albrecht, G., & Studart, A. R. (2015). Cement-based composites reinforced with localized and magnetically oriented Al2O3 microplatelets. Cement and Concrete Research, 78, 245–251.