Composite Technology/Lightweight Construction

The Focus of the department Composite Technology/Lightweight Construction is on the mechanical design and process technology of highly loaded lightweight structures.

Highest mechanical properties at low weight: The portfolio of services ranges from idea generation and concept development to design, simulation and optimization to the construction of prototypes and component testing. New, sustainable materials allow future-oriented solutions for the cost-efficient lightweight construction and parts of tomorrow.

Core competencies

  • Material development, e.g. impact strength modification / fiber selection
  • Component design and material selection
  • Dimensioning with analytical and numerical methods FEM
  • Fiber composite, sandwich and multi-material technology
  • Process and tooling technology
  • Process development
  • Material and component testing
  • Material data determination
  • Microstructure and failure analysis

Simulation and optimization of structures and processes

  • Structural analysis and optimization with ANSYS (ACP), Marc Mentat, LS Dyna
  • Filling simulation with ANSYS and myRTM (
  • Simulation of vibrations and damping behavior

Infrastructure for the production of composite parts (thermoset/thermoplast)

  • Zünd cutting table for preform generation (PrePregs, sheets, dry semi-finished products) incl. milling head
  • Various standard-shape molds (hand lay-up, infusion, injection, prepreg)
  • Plate molds for material and process characterization
  • Maroso autoclave
  • PU injection machine Isotherm PSM90
  • DOPAG resin injection machine
  • Various pressure pots for injection processes
  • Membrane forming machine
  • Four presses, Force range 6 t to 200 t
  • Various vacuum pumps
  • Various ovens
  • Various peripherals such as dosing units, temperature control units and mixing units

Various testing equipment and analyzers

  • Drop towers up to 75J and 300J
  • Ultrasonic device for the determination of delaminations
  • Permeability measuring device (permeameter)
  • Vibration/damping test rigs
  • Computer tomograph (CT) from RX Solutions
  • Div. test equipment for mechanical characterization (see test technology)
How are cable cars revised?

The roller batteries of circulating ropeways have to undergo a comprehensive overhaul approximately every 10 years. Previously, this involved a time-consuming process, including expensive helicopter flights. An innovative maintenance platform now makes it possible to carry out all work steps directly on the mast at eye level. The platform was developed in close collaboration between Colombo Seilbahnrevisionen GmbH and OST.

Project manager Mike Zahner from IWK at OST is responsible for the robust and versatile design. «Merging Stephan Colombo's decades of expertise with modern construction methods was a motivating challenge,» says Zahner. The maintenance platform provides ropeway operators with an efficient and safe solution for maintenance and testing. The new platform simplifies the maintenance process, saves costs and time and contributes to the safety and reliability of the ropeways. The fact that this is also in the interests of ropeway operators was demonstrated just a few months after the maintenance platform was completed: Colombo has already sold the first platform to a ropeway operator, who is now using it himself for inspections.

Process development CRAMPOW

CRAMPOW is a climbing aid for ski touring and freeriding (“Powder escalator”). A very lightweight blade prevents the skier from sinking into deep snow, while integrated crampons provide optimal grip. As a part of his bachelor thesis, Mike Zahner turned the product idea and existing prototypes into a near-series product. Along the way, numerous problems had to be solved: from the selection of materials to the design with integration of crampons and mounting plate to the forming process of the actual blade.

The result is an innovative, extremely lightweight product that is perfectly adapted to the requirements and can be manufactured efficiently, due to the optimized forming process. The selected combination of materials allows almost complete recycling, an important requirement of the industry partner Auftriib (

Trade journals


Optimierte Methodik bei der Skientwicklung
Stapf, D., Barandun, G., Germanier, B., KunststoffXtra 01/02-2024, S. 20-21


Novel Modular Walking Orthosis (MOWA) for Powerful Correction of Gait Deviations in Subjects with a Neurological Disease
Schröder, J., Barandun, G., Leimer, P., Morand, R., Göpfert, B., Rutz, E., MDPI 12/2023

Sandwich-Bauteile auf PU/PET-Basis
​​​​​​​Barandun, G., Richle, S., Eggenschwiler, H., KunststoffXtra 10-2023, p. 48-49

Recyclable flame retardant phosphonated epoxy based thermosets enabled via a reactive approach
Klingler, W., Rougier, V., Huang, Z., Parida, D., Lehner, S., Casutt, A., Rentsch, D., Brändli Hedlund, K., Barandun, G., Michaud, V., Gaan, S., Chemical Engineering Journal 06/2023

Fatigue Assessment of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polyurethane with Regard to Crack Initiation and Propagation
Gerdes, L., Franck, P., Richle, S., Barandun, G., Walther, F., MDPI 03/2023 


Neuartige modulare Gehorthese zur leistungsfähigen Korrektur von Gangabweichungen bei neurologisch bedingten Gehstörungen
Schröder, J.-H., Barandun, G., Leimer, P., Morand, R., Göpfert, B., Rutz, E.

Download Die Ski-Entwicklung neu gedacht
Stapf, D., Barandun, G., Germanier, B., KunststoffXtra 05-06/2022, S. 18-20

Computed tomography-based characterization of impact and fatigue after impact behaviour of carbon fiber-reinforced polyuretane
Gerdes, L., Richle, S., Mrzljak, S., Hülsbusch, D., Barandun, G., Walther, F., Elsevier 03/2022


Download Thermoplast-Schaumspritzgiessen
Barandun, G.A., Wick, C., KunststoffXtra 11/2021, S. 14-15

Download Design of a structural composite hydrogen tank
Barandun, G.A., Zimmermann, U., KunststoffXtra 5/2021, S. 6-7

Download Struktureller Composite-Wasserstofftank
Barandun, G.A., Zimmermann, U., KunststoffXtra 5/2021, S. 10-11


Download Rechnergestützte Optimierung von Composite
Barandun, G.A., Müller, L., KunststoffXtra 9/2020, S. 24-25

Download Hybridbauteile – das Beste aus zwei Welten
KunststoffXtra, Hybridtechnik Keynote, Swiss Plastics Expo: Hybridbauteile – das Beste aus zwei Welten

Download Alternative zu Glasfaser, Öl und Chemie
Barandun, G.A.: Alternative zu Glasfaser, Öl und Chemie, KunststoffXtra 1-2/2020, S. 18-19


Download Hybridbauweise mit Composites
Hybridbauweise mit Composites, KunstsoffXtra 12/19, S. 53-54

Download schneller zum optimierten Composite-Bauteil
Barandun, G.A.: Schneller zum optimierten Composite-Bauteil, KunststoffXtra 6/19, S. 16-17

Download Innovationen für den nächsten Medaillenregen
Innovationen für den nächsten Medaillenregen, HSR Magazin 1/2019, S. 26-27

Download Flexibles Panorama für Flexible Hallen
Flexibles Panorama für Flexible Hallen, HSR Magazin 1/2019, S. 12-13

Trade lectures


Stapf, D.: Lighter International Conference Gothenburg, «Cost-efficient structural composite parts combining unidirectional tape reinforcements and injection molding processes», 20./21. November 2019

Barandung, G. A.: Swiss Medtech Expo: Vortrag «Perfekt angepasste Orthesen Dank individueller Fertigung», 10. September 2019, Messe Luzern

Barandun, G.A.: Innovationstag der AIF/ZIM in Berlin, Vorstellung Projekt PRISCA im Rahmen der EURAKA-Zusammenarbeit, 9. Mai 2019

Barandun, G. A.: Carbon Composites Schweiz Thementag «Thermoplastische Composites», Vortrag: «Combining unidirectional tapes with an injection molding process», 9. April 2019, EPFL in Lausanne

Barandun, G. A., Stapf, D.: 4a Technologietage, Steigerung der Schlagzähigkeit von Composites durch den Einsatz von Polyurethan als Matrixwerkstoff, 26./27. Februar, Schladming

Barandun, G. A.: VPE Swiss Workshop, Von Anwendern für Anwender: «Materialmodelle: Schlüssel für erfolgreiche FEM-Analysen»; Vortrag «Anwendungsorientierte Modellierung von Verbundmaterialien», 31. Januar 2019


Corbisieri, C.: APO Jahrestagung in Fribourg: Neuer Ansatz in der Orthesen-Prüftechnik, 25.10.2018

Swedish-Swiss Innovation Initiative at EMPA Dübendorf, 25.9.2018

Barandun, G. A.: Kunststoffe im Bauwesen: Grundlagen Faserverbund-Technik und Anwendungen - Potential für das Bauwesen? , HSR Rapperswil, 13.9.2018

Barandun, G.A., Schüssler, L., Angst, P., Eggenschwile, H.: ICSS International Conference on Sandwich Structures: PROCESS OPTIMIZATION FOR ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT POLYURETHANE/PET RESIN TRANSFER MOLDING (RTM) SANDWICH COMPONENTS, 20.-22-8.2018


14.-17.5.2018: Baltic Conference Series, Stockholm/Helsinki:

  • Carbon fibre tape reinforced thermoplastic structural components; Dominik Stapf, Donat Schönenberger, Gion A. Barandun, Riccardo Brunold, Martin Rudolph, Oliver Gschwend, Memo Ljatifi
  • Phenolic resin composites for flame resistant structural parts; Karin Hedlund, Gion Andrea Barandun, Leonhard Grämiger, Peter Gimmnich, Niklaus Zaugg, Martin Rosenberger, Sabyasachi Gaan
  • Polyurethane RTM for Structural Components; Lorenz Schüssler, Gion A. Barandun, Daniel Hülsbusch, Frank Walther, Ulrich Fehrenbacher, Jürgen Emig, Jürgen Tauchner, Stefan Pachernegg, Gazmend Braha
  • Biocomposites based on plant materials; Gion A. Barandun, Donat Schönenberger, Ozan Sahin, Sauro Bianchi, Ingo Mayer

Bianchi, S. (BFH), Barandun, G.A. (IWK): 3. Biokunststoff-Seminar: Tannin-basierte Biocomposites im Harzinjektionsverfahren, 19.4.2018, Rapperswil

6.3.-8.3.2018: Teilnahme JEC World Paris, nominiert für den JEC Award in der Kategorie Aeronautics / Application mit dem PU-RTM nose cone zusammen mit FACC, Rühl, Isotherm und dem WPT der TU Dortmund (Exponat auf dem «Innovation Planet» gezeigt)

zai developments 2024

Together with our long-standing partner zai, we are working on the perfect shape of a ski in the current Innosuisse project 2023-24.

Learn more