Blackwave GmbH

Automated, economical manufacturing of highly complex carbon-fibre parts

Founded in 2016 by

  • Bastian Behrens

  • Raphael Setz

Incubation period

31-12-2016 to 30-12-2018

About Blackwave GmbH

Blackwave has the vision to profoundly change the way lightweight parts are manufactured for high-performance applications. The molding of Carbon-SMC utilized by Blackwave is a repeatable and highly automated process. The company’s long fibre-reinforced parts combine excellent mechanical properties with competitive manufacturing costs. Blackwave is thus targeting markets that cannot be accessed with conventional manufacturing methods due to the high costs involved.

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The challenge

The demand for lightweight parts in the aerospace, automotive, and sports industries is leading the drive for new ways of manufacturing existing components. New materials and techniques in processing CFRP parts are emerging, as conventional processing methods are restricted in terms of part complexity, output, repeatable quality, and especially cost efficiency in most cases due to all the manual labor involved. Furthermore, the weight of high-performance forged, milled, or die-cast metal parts needs to be reduced for moving applications. Meanwhile, however, conventional CFRP processes are only efficient in low output quantities.

The solution

Blackwave offers a technology that facilitates cost-effective manufacturing of lot sizes of up to 50,000 units per year. Thanks to their low density and excellent mechanical properties, Carbon-SMC components are finding their way into new markets. Replacing complex lightweight metallic components with CFRP is now economically feasible due to the automated process and repeatable quality it presents. Since Carbon-SMC is a three-dimensional flow process, highly complex parts are also possible. Meanwhile, the ability to easily integrate functions into a single part simplifies handling and further increases the advantages of the process, which proceeds as follows: The preform is positioned in the mold and compressed. After the thermoset is cured, the finished part is ejected from the mold. There is no need for further injection processes or annealing, which decreases costs and manufacturing time (with cycle times as short as two minutes). Very low amounts of rejects and waste make the process even more competitive.