9T Labs is a company that specializes in developing advanced materials and manufacturing processes for the automotive and aerospace industries. Their goal is to help these industries to manufacture strong, lightweight, sustainable products like never before. .
One of the key areas of focus for 9T Labs is the development of lightweight materials and structures. This includes the use of advanced composites, combining continuous fibers like carbon fibers and thermoplastic polymers, as well as the development of a new design and manufacturing standard, the Additive Fusion Technology (AFT) that can be used to create these materials at scale.
In an interview with Martin Eichenhofer, CEO and Co-Founder of 9T Labs, he discussed the company’s efforts to revolutionize the industry and the following six questions:
What inspired you to start 9T Labs and focus on weight saving for the automotive and aerospace industries?
Can you tell us about some of the key materials and manufacturing processes that 9T Labs is currently working on?
How does 9T Labs approach the challenge of scaling up the production of these advanced materials?
Can you give an example of a specific project or product that 9T Labs has helped to develop that has had a significant impact on weight reduction?
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the automotive and aerospace industries in terms of weight reduction and efficiency?
How do you see 9T Labs’ work impacting the industry in the future and what role do you see the company playing in the development of sustainable transportation?
Eichenhofer: “We started 9T Labs because we saw a need for more advanced materials and manufacturing processes in the automotive and aerospace industries. These industries are under a lot of pressure to reduce weight and increase efficiency, and we saw an opportunity to help them achieve these goals through the use of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques.
Currently, we are working on a number of converging topics: materials with the combination of continuous fibers (carbon, glass, basalt, etc) and thermoplastic polymers (PEEK, PEKK, PPS, PA12, etc), software to optimize and fasten the design and validation of parts, manufacturing technologies including additive manufacturing and advanced molding.
Scaling up the production of these advanced materials is our main driver since we founded 9T Labs. Our objective is that the products made with our solution have a positive impact on our world. This can only happen at scale. While it is a major challenge, we have the right team of experts in materials science, engineering, and manufacturing who are able to tackle this challenge head-on. It is also important for us to collaborate with major players along the entire value-chain in order to make sure that our final customers can use our technology very soon, even in highly regulated markets.
Currently, our focus is on metal parts substitution, especially for smaller, highly loaded parts. One example of a project that we have been involved in is the development of a lightweight door hinge. With the AFT, it was possible to make the part lighter by 50%, while staying cost-competitive and increasing its mechanical performance.
Other potential parts could be rear spoiler supports, seat structures, etc
The biggest challenges facing the automotive and aerospace industries in terms of weight reduction and efficiency are the cost and scalability of advanced materials and manufacturing processes. We believe that our work in developing this new design and manufacturing standard is helping to overcome these challenges and pave the way for more sustainable transportation options in the future.”
9T Labs is at the forefront of the weight saving movement in the automotive and aerospace industry. 9T Labs is helping these industries to reach climate neutral products by introducing the new design & manufacturing standard for strong parts at lowest weight, lower cost and zero waste.. With a team of experts in materials science, engineering, and manufacturing, it is poised to continue to make an impact on the industry in the future.