Everything began a long time before the establishment of the university: In 1955, a laboratory for the assessment of cotton – and from 1965 onwards also wool – was created at the cotton exchange. This was done in order to check the quality of the fibrous material for commercial contracts. The laboratory quickly grew into a worldwide-recognized entity. In order to make additional assessments possible and to enter into the field of research, Faserinstitut Bremen (FIBRE) was established as a registered association and independent, public institute. It is one of the oldest research institutes in Bremen.
Move into EcoMaT an Important Step
“The institute has come a long way since its establishment. It has developed new technologies and set new research priorities”, said Professor Dr.-Ing. Axel S. Hermann, who has been director of the institute since 2001 and, as many other FIBRE institute scientists do, teaches in the Faculty of Product Engineering. “Proof of our expertise is that we are prominently represented at the new Bremen EcoMaT Research and Technology Centre and work together there with high-tech companies in the areas of fiber composites, lightweight construction and aircraft construction. It also characterizes the transformation, which we repeatedly carried out over a period of 50 years.” The institute headquarters remain in the IW3 building on the university campus.
From Cotton Assessment to Research Institute
It is a long time since the days of only cotton and wool fibers in the FIBRE institute. They now deal with nearly all fibers that can be found in clothes, plants and more than anything, construction materials. Shortly after the establishment of the cotton laboratory, they wanted to know more in Bremen and thus carried out basis investigations into measured-value reproducibility, assessment method standardization and assessment equipment development. This is how FIBRE expanded into a scientific institution. FIBRE became known worldwide for its “Bremen Rundtest”, which is a standardization for cotton assessment. The institute still carries out the tasks that began with the foundation of the cotton and wool laboratory. It is, for example, the final assessment authority for more than 80 percent of the cotton contracts around the world.
“The classic textile production market moved more into Asia, which is why we set ourselves new challenges”, stated Axel S. Hermann about the development of FIBRE. “Technical fibers, functional fibers and fiber-based materials made up new research areas, for example the carbon fiber reinforced plastics for use in aero and space travel.” Airbus and OHB represent important technology operators directly in Bremen and work in the field of material sciences is being carried out together with institutes from the University of Bremen. “In the past 15 years, we have experienced great growth, which, alongside support from Bremen State, has led to us moving into EcoMaT.”
Important Role in Training of Young Scientists
FIBRE plays an important role in the teaching at the Faculty of Product Engineering. With lectures, final papers and the supervision of the aerospace specialization, the institute provides a significant proportion of the education that young engineers receive at the university. In more than 50 final papers per year, the students jointly process scientific questions in exciting research projects under the direction of scientific assistans. Furthermore, the students often gain invaluable insights into practical project work. FIBRE director Hermann is convinced that, “in doing this, the institute provides students with the important orientation needed for their further careers and enables the transfer of technology via minds from research into the industry.”
The jubilee brochure, which can be downloaded in pdf format here: www.faserinstitut.de/downloads/, provides a deeper insight into the history and effects of FIBRE.
www.faserinstitut.de (in German only)
Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. (FIBRE)
Phone: +49 421 218-58700
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