Today, almost 90% of lightweight structures contain glass fibers. Their manufacturing consists of impregnating dry fiber bundles or textiles with liquid plastic in a time-consuming and energy-intensive process, which limits the production of high volumes. Many of these products involve cured plastics, which cannot be recycled and will end up in landfills.
Antefil Composite Tech, a startup project from ETH Zurich, will revolutionize high-volume composites manufacturing by providing hybrid materials that need neither impregnation nor curing. The startup applies the plastic as individual coatings on each glass reinforcement fiber while it is being drawn. Only minimal heat and pressure are needed to turn textiles made from these micro-engineered hybrid fibers into high-quality structures—for a fraction of the time compared to resin infusion.
The startup’s proprietary solution saves up to 35% cycle time by avoiding infusion and cure entirely. It guarantees uniform fiber distribution and low void content, and it provides weldable and recyclable materials, which support lighter joints and a move toward a circular economy. Antefil’s key markets include applications in construction, pressure vessels, automotive, aerospace, and wind power, a combined serviceable market of CHF 20 billion.
First samples delivered
Antefil was founded by Dr. Christoph Schneeberger (executive lead), MSc Nicole Aegerter (operational lead), Prof. Dr. Paolo Ermanni (technical lead), and Dr. Thomas Billeter (financial lead). The team has recently delivered the first samples for material characterization and testing and is looking to collaborate with producers of composite structures to evaluate its technology. The next steps will include realizing a scaled pilot production plant to supply sufficient amounts of material for demonstrator projects and first per-kg sales. Venture Kick’s funds will kickstart this phase by allowing the team to focus on scaling its fiber production, product development, and marketing and communication efforts.
“Thanks to Venture Kick, we have drastically advanced our business model and strengthened our marketing activities. Also, during the Kickers Camps, we could profit tremendously from the valuable input and one-to-one discussions,” said Nicole Nicole Aegerter, Antefil co-founder and operational lead.
(Press release / SK)
Photo: Antefil co-founders (from left to right): Paolo Ermanni (technical lead), Christoph Schneeberger (executive lead), Nicole Aegerter (operational lead).