The future is multifunctional - ZIM project in cooperation with the LWF of the University of Paderborn

The demand for jet engines and compact axial compressors in the performance class up to 30 kW has increased in the recent years for various application fields such as racing, wind tunnel operation, industry and civil protection (drones). Together with the Laboratory for Materials and Fixing Technology (LWF) (University of Paderborn) we started a new research project aiming at developing a 30 kW jet engine, which has a multi-purpose usage. Unlike conventional - fossil-fuel driven - aggregates, the new development is driven by means of a high-performance and high-efficiency electric motor and is made entirely of lightweight materials.
The drive is based on the idea of a classic fan engine with high bypass ratio. The core engine that drives the main fan shall be replaced here by an extremely efficient electronically commutated electric motor. Only a very small part of the total air flow is conducted through the motor for cooling purposes.

Expansion of the application spectrum
Alongside the aerodynamic compressor, we also develop the highly efficient electric drive motor and with the combination of a classical fan stage and an electric motor we achieve the independence of the drive from fossil fuels. The completely emission-free, quiet and vibration-free operation of the jet engine allows the extension of spectrum; amongst other things its use is planned for wind tunnel measurements as a mass flow generator, for UAV propulsion, man-carrying gliders and industrial applications (e.g. as CO2 laser).
The jet engine will therefore consist largely of various lightweight materials such as carbon composites (carbon fiber reinforced plastics) and a high-strength aluminum alloys. This is necessary in order to fulfill the high requirements in terms of reliability and power density. Schübeler Composite increases its integration of advanced engineering knowledge (know) and its perfected practical expertise (how), that has grown for many years. This is the prerequisite to start such an innovative project and thus dare to enter into a new area of technology as well as to challenge the combination of new technologies in the enterprise.

Coping high performance requirements
The joining of the lightweight components, which will be under very high mechanical and thermal loads when operating, will probably be one of the biggest challenges in the development of the jet engine. "With the LWF we think we have found exactly the right partner for the upcoming challenges. We look forward to a successful cooperation.", says Daniel Schübeler, CEO of Schübeler Composite. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Meschut Gerson, director of the LWF, noted "The company Schübeler Composite approached us because of almost 40 years of experience in the calculation of characteristic values and interpretation of glued lightweight compounds under highly dynamic loads. We are looking forward to the challenges ahead of us, some of which both project partners may benefit from." During the project the LWF will make the used compounds predictable by numerical simulations and scalable for future performance levels. "At the end of the project Schübeler Composite is then able to interpret the sophisticated compounds within the new product independently," adds Marc Wünsche, project editor at the LWF.

The project receives innovation grant from the German Ministry of Economy and Energy as part of the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM).

About Laboratory for Materials and Fixing Technology (LWF)
The Laboratory for Materials and Joining Technology (LWF) is a nationally and internationally recognized research institution specializing in the field of joining technology, especially adhesive bonding, mechanical joining, special processes of welding, hybrid joining and materials engineering.
The spectrum of research and development at the LWF covers basic research as well as public-funded application-oriented research projects, bilateral industrial cooperation and contract work. As a partner of SMEs, large corporations and industrial research organizations, we provide process-, material- and design-orientated research in advanced materials and joining technology for economic development and manufacturing of energy-efficient lightweight structures, focusing on the automotive and aerospace sector.
During our success story of now 35 years, research results of the LWF have found their way into several innovative products and applications and have won national and international awards.

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