Project: Smart lightweight design 4.1




Project: Smart lightweight design 4.1


Future-oriented lightweight design developments with integrated sensors and efficient process analysis are in the focus of this research project. The project "Smart lightweight design 4.0" unifies the competencies of three research institutions in Carinthia and represents at the same time a link to the interdisciplinary topic Industrie 4.0.


Project aim:

Lightweight design in all applications is a necessary aspect to save resources. In addition to the primary resources in manufacturing, it enables savings in operation due to lower weight, especially for structures that are moved in some form. The use of renewable resources, especially as reinforcing fibers allows the use of regional raw materials, and regional manufacturing. The use of sensor technology enables an interface to the digital world and also contributes to further resource savings, as materials can be optimally utilized.


Project results:

Thermoplastic composite reinforced with natural fibers tend to absorb moisture, which deteriorate its mechanical properties with time and usage. This signifies a challenge in structural applications specifically for aerospace and automobile industries, since they undergo harsh environment and their replacement is expensive and time consuming. In this regard, structural health monitoring technique can be used with the aim that it provide real-time and continuous report on the condition of the composite. The information from the real-time data provide an opportunity to repair or avoid accident effectively. With the above motivation, we have used smart paper sensor with high sensitivity, reliability to measure the moisture/humidity of the composite structure. Smart sensor was integrated into TPU/PLA/flax fiber composite.



Sensors integrated into TPU/PLA/Flax fiber composite



Funding programme:

EFRE - Regionale Impulsförderung

Project lead:

Wood K plus 


2 years (4/2021 - 12/2022)


SAL, FH Kärnten, Wood K plus

Link EFRE:


The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the province of Carinthia.