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13th May 2019, Aachen

ITA’s energy storage for mobility applications at Techtextil 2019

Remote-controlled model vehicle with fuel cell drive. © ITA

Remote-controlled model vehicle with fuel cell drive. © ITA

The Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University (ITA), will present its expertise  at Techtextil 2019 on the Elmatex stand this week. The Institute will present a model vehicle for fuel cell drive, a Demonstrator Light Textiles, a range of textile products and new materials for aerospace applications.

The remote-controlled model vehicle with fuel cell drive (RC-Car) is an emission-free model car with lightweight tanks and body made of fibre composite plastics (FRP). It consists of kits from Tamiya-Carson Modellbau and Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies.

The pressure vessels (Composite Pressure Vessel-CPV) of the RC-Car were manufactured by ITA with a new winding technology for pressure vessels with carbon fibres on a machine from Murata, Japan. The CPVs are produced by multifilament winding, which promises a higher productivity than conventional wet winding. They CPV can withstand high pressures, for example, 700 bar, and are said to offer significant weight savings compared to batteries.

The CPVs are said to enable emission-free, long-range, hydrogen-based propulsion that can be refuelled quickly and represents ITA's contribution to mobility and energy revolution. “The CPVs contribute to a sustainable energy balance, since, for example, rare earths are not required as in battery production,” the company reports.

MoonFibre – from regolith to textiles. © ITA

MoonFibre – from regolith to textiles. © ITA

“The target group for the CPVs is the transport sector. In the automotive industry, CPVs provide the basis for a lighter drive concept, as they can be charged more quickly and offer greater lightweight potential than batteries. For the aerospace sector, the new winding technology represents an alternative, faster manufacturing process to wet-willing pressure vessels.”


Many nations are toying with the idea of setting up a lunar station and to use the moon as a source of raw materials, a research site, a stepping stone into the solar system and a tourist destination. But the transport of the material for a lunar station is very costly: to bring material from the earth to the moon costs up to EUR 1 million per kilogram. For a lunar station, at least 450 tons are needed.

“ITA’s solution is to produce directly on the moon,” the Institute explains. “A lot of moon rock is very similar to basalt. ITA has already developed a production process to spin mineral fibres based on lunar rock.”

Within MoonFibre, ITA uses this experience for the production of fibres for the reinforcement of 3D structures on the basis of moon rock and produces the fibres for the construction of the moon station directly on site. ITA’s approach is supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). In addition, the project is funded by crowd funding.

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