SPD state parliament candidate Michael Roth informs himself at Rath GmbH in Mönchengladbach about new technologies for the energy transition in NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia).

On May 03, 2022, key representatives from industry and research met with SPD state parliament candidate Michael Roth at RATH GmbH in Mönchengladbach to jointly discuss new technologies for the energy transition. In addition to Christopher Kluthe, Global Technology & Sales Specialist/RATH & Dr. Philipp Frania, Plant Manager/RATH, Dr. Peter Mechnich, Co-Department Head at the DLR Institute for Materials Research in Cologne and Denny Schüppel, Managing Director of Ceramic Composites, also took part in the meeting. Ceramic Composites is a network of Composites United e. V. and the world’s largest specialist network for Ceramic Composites.

Experts knows the RATH company for its fireproofing and insulating materials. For more than 125 years, the Austrian-based RATH Group has combined materials expertise, application know-how and personal consulting under one roof. The Mönchengladbach site is now also breaking new ground: Here, RATH is developing a high-end oxide ceramic fiber, which is a key component for the production of fiber-reinforced ceramics, so-called Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC). Currently, this market, which has been quite small up to now, is dominated by only one American fiber manufacturer. RATH wants to change that, because broad use of these high-tech materials promises to make the energy transition more efficient and more ecological. “Wherever lightweight design meets high temperatures, we need CMC. And fiber composite ceramics are based on the broad market availability of oxide ceramic fibers. Only in this way will these technologies be able to make their contribution to the energy transition,” says Christopher Kluthe, responsible for ceramic Continuous Fibers in the Rath Group.

Fiber ceramics can make a significant contribution as an enabler in the transport and energy turnaround so that new, regenerative technologies can be implemented faster and more efficiently. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia can play a pioneering role in this worldwide. Read the Ceramic Composites position paper here (German only).

On May 03, 2022, Michael Roth, SPD state parliament candidate for Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, learned about the new material and the new possibilities it offers. “Technologically disruptive leap innovations are what the country needs to retain industrial jobs and drive green energy supply. It’s great that small and medium-sized businesses in my home country can contribute to this. I am happy to support RATH in this,” said Roth during his visit. With the closely meshed network of research and industry, North Rhine-Westphalia can become a pioneer in the energy transition. Strong partners from research, such as the German Aerospace Center and the Jülich Research Center, are just as active as small and large companies. From component manufacturers, such as WPX Faserkeramik, to quality assurance at Diondo, to users such as Ford, Linde and Evonik. The partners in NRW represent the entire value network and are positioning themselves as pioneers of the energy transition.

“Especially the close cooperation between industry, SMEs and research predestines the region and the network to develop innovative solutions from CMC quickly and in a target-oriented manner,” says Dr. Peter Mechnich from DLR in Cologne. He himself has been conducting research at the DLR Institute for Materials Research in Cologne for more than 20 years and says: “Reliable, regional supply chains pave the way for innovative technologies and products.” Whether technologies for saving energy, generating or converting green hydrogen into electricity. “The energy transition needs CMC and we care about helping here,” says Denny Schüppel of Composites United. “Especially the generation of green hydrogen is currently still accompanied by high energy losses. We want to improve that significantly in the future.”

The first components with RATH fibers have already been manufactured. Work is underway in an EU project to compete with the global players. Because soon it should be said: companies and research institutions in NRW are taking a leading role for technologies of the energy transition.

Denny Schüppel (Composites United), Dr. Peter Mechich (DLR), SPD state parliament candidate Michael Roth, Christopher Kluthe, Dr. Philipp Franja and Cedric Dreyszas (all Rath) (left to right)