Carbon is King (May 12, 2017)

Today was focused more on companies and less on Germany itself but tomorrow we have a day in Munich, so that should even it out.  We started out with a tour of SGL, a company that specializes in carbon products.  We got to see their showroom which has everything from sports equipment (golf clubs, bows, arrows, baseball bats, etc.) to a car door that you can lift with one arm.  It was cool to see a bow there because I used to compete in archery and some of my equipment was carbon.  We then had a tour of their experimental production line where they can vary all the parameters in making carbon fiber.  Hundreds of feet of white fiber is wound through different chemical processes and ovens and it ends up as the black fiber that we all know and love.  We also saw them use carbon fiber incorporated with resins and thermoplastics to make different sheets, rods, and tapes.  They used KUKA robots in some of their processes.  After the tour, we had a delicious lunch of lasagna.  We then traveled to the university to hear a presentation from a representative from BMW.  He talked about BMW and the future of autonomous and self-driving cars, and the future looks pretty exciting.

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