Mass production of lightweight materials


The lighter the means of transport, the less fuel it uses and the fewer CO2 emissions it produces. Hence the high level of interest of automotive and aircraft manufacturers in lightweight materials that are strong enough to ensure passenger safety.

Thermoplastic composites – fibre-reinforced plastics that become soft when heated – are light, strong and easy to work with and recycle. This relatively new material is already being used to make individual components for aircraft fuselages or wings, for example. However, it is not yet widely used.

Within the ENLIGHTEN programme, a multidisciplinary team of researchers is developing a scientifically proven design and production method for making reliable larger structures using this material in a targeted, reproducible and cost-effective way.


SAM XL supports the assembly and integration of smaller thermoplastic composite components into larger structures. The material design and processing technologies emerging from the ENLIGHTEN program will especially facilitate the integration of large aerospace structures.


TU Delft, Airborne, Airbus, Aniform, Autodesk, Boeing, Boikon, Bosch, Cato, Composites NL, DSM, DTC, Eindhoven University of Technology, Engel, e‐Xstream, GKN/Fokker, HAN University of Applied Sciences, JLR, KVE, M2i, Province of Overijssel, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, SET Europe, Solvay, TNO‐BMC, Toray Advanced Composites, TPRC, University of Twente, University of Warwick, Victrex.


This project has received funding from the “Subsidieregeling R&D Mobiliteitssectoren (RDM)” by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.

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Duration: 2022 – 2026