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IPA Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation
14.04.2021 | Research

Project start: Latest cooling lubricants for fiber composites

Whether trains, bicycles, drones, electric cars or airplanes, fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) and combinations of these with steel, titanium or aluminum - so-called stacks or multi-materials - offer enormous market potential in lightweight construction due to their excellent weight-related stiffnesses. The use of water-based cooling lubricants in machining (milling, drilling) promises advantages in terms of cutting speed, tool wear and occupational health and safety (fine dust), but is rarely practiced because of the as yet unresolved risks such as swelling of the plastics, loss of composite adhesion in stack materials, problems in painting and bonding processes and possible biological contamination.

With a start date of 01.04.2021, the BMWi is funding a project in which research is being carried out into the measures that can be taken to minimise these risks in the machining process, care and monitoring, cooling lubricants, cleaning processes and painting and bonding. 

For this purpose, a benchmark test is being developed with which the machining and tool parameters can be optimized and cleaning, coating and bonding processes can be tested. In parallel, methods for monitoring the cooling lubricant and filtration are being investigated and measures against biological infestation and for quality assurance are being derived. At the end of the project, databases on material combinations and a guide for the complete machining process chain, including the pre- and post-treatment of components, will be available.

Research Centres

IPA Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation
IGB Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology


The project is being carried out in cooperation with the research associations Composites United Leichtbau-Forschung gGmbH and Forschungsgesellschaft für Pigmente und Lacke e.V..

The IGF project 21732 N of the research association DGMK is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the AiF within the framework of the programme for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.