Universität Stuttgart works with a Columbus vacuum press
Vacuum pressing with Pioneer
Columbus & University of Stuttgart
Innovation meets science!

Made with Pioneer - innovative artworks made from biocomposite facade panels


As everyone knows, the spirit of innovation has always been practiced at Columbus just like traditional craftsmanship. We inspire people all over the world to break new ground and create new things. In this blog article we would like to emphasize that vacuum technology from Columbus is also perfectly suited for use at an academic level. Our customer, the BioMat research group at the University of Stuttgart, gives exciting insights into why the vacuum press Pioneer is the perfect companion on new paths. The information comes directly from BioMats research associate Dr.-Ing. arch. Jan Petrš. You may be curious!

BioMat - Pioneers in the field of sustainable materials


What exactly is the BioMat? The department Biobased Materials and Materials Cycles in Architecture (BioMat) is located at the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the Faculty for Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Stuttgart. The department headed by Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hanaa Dahy has the goal to merge the areas design, sustainable material development, form finding and much more in architecture. Teaching, research, material development and production as well as industrial projects are closely linked. BioMat thus offers architecture students and industrial partners the opportunity to participate in current research projects.

Innovative techniques, new insights, extraordinary artworks


As part of the course "Digital design and fabrication of biocomposite facade panels", BioMat used its Columbus vacuum press Pioneer as well as outstanding manufacturing processes far from the usual standard to produce truly beautiful artworks. How exactly, you will find out now!

As a starting point, panels were manufactured using the Tailored Fiber Placement (TFP) method. In this process, natural fibers are placed in specific directions based on their geometry and structural performance. The dry fiber TFP preforms were then infused with resin and placed on molds or curing frames. The final shaping was done through a variety of processes, three of which were performed using our Pioneer vacuum press. Understandable, because the vacuum technology in particular made it possible to press the panels onto both double-curved molds and flat wooden panels. The pressing process was also used for the perfect lamination of sandwich panels with a balsa core between two biocomposite panels. In all cases, the biocomposite cured during vacuum pressing – no additional heating was applied throughout the project. Pioneer's long operating times were also decisive, as the machine often ran for around 12 hours.

Sustainable and innovative unique pieces with Columbus Pioneer


The BioMat research group informed us that Pioneer was ideally suited for use in this innovative project. Our designers are also happy about that. Pioneer was created precisely for this level of precision and versatility, while at the same time being easy to use. So you can concentrate on what is important.

Many thanks to the BioMat of the University of Stuttgart for sharing this wonderful success story with us.


© credits for photographs: Photographs by BioMat at ITKE, University of Stuttgart
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