ACTRESS - Advanced Composite Technologies for Extreme Lightweight Space Structures

The objectives of the ACTRESS project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency under ASAP 7 were to initiate a long-term sustainable programme in Austria for the design, analysis and manufacture of extremely lightweight structures on the basis of advanced nano-modified composite materials, especially carbon fibre-reinforced carbon nanotube-filled thermoset polymer composite materials.

Short Description

ACTRESS should not only be understood as a starter project for a subsequent material development programme. The activities aim to establish the whole process chain for the production of extreme lightweight structures for aerospace application in Austria.

ACTRESS was structured into three work areas specifically formulated with respect to the experiences and abilities of the individual project partners:

Graz University of Technology/Institute for Lightweight Design (TUG/ILB) worked on the development and validation of an analytical model based on laminate theory for the design and layout of lightweight structures of advanced nano-modified composite materials. A special focus was placed on the formulation of material laws for modelling the beneficial effects of nanofillers for improvement of the mechanical properties of the new composite materials.

Mubea Carbo Tech GmbH, Salzburg (MCT) concentrated on adapting proven production processes for novel, nano-modified composite materials. Samples of these materials were produced by MCT and the effect of nanofillers on the mechanical properties (significant improvement of interlaminar shear strength, toughness and fatigue) was demonstrated by tests at TUG/ILB.

Space Technology Consultancy Vienna (RTBV) was responsible for project coordination and the definition of new advanced material systems. Nano-modified resins were delivered by FutureCarbon GmbH, Bayreuth, Germany.

The successful completion of ACTRESS has opened up the opportunity to become a supplier of structural components in European Future Launcher Programmes, such as the "New Generation Launcher Programme" in close collaboration with Astrium Space Transportation.

Project Partners


Space Technology Consultancy Vienna - Hans Georg Wulz


  • Mubea Carbo Tech GmbH - Johannes Renner
  • Graz University of Technology, Institute for Lightweight Design - Christian Moser

Contact Address

Space Technology Consultancy Vienna
Hans Georg Wulz
Kroissberggasse 27
A-1230 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 890 06 25