UniVorsUm – Development of a universal Method for Predicting the Formability of Paper-based Materials in Deep Drawing and Hydroforming

The forming of paper is subject to numerous influencing variables that make it difficult to predict the forming result. The research project “UniVorsUm” therefore aims to develop a universal method for predicting the formability of paper-based materials for the two forming processes deep drawing and hydroforming. By carrying out characterization tests of various papers and forming studies on geometries relevant to practical applications, the identification of the interrelationships of various quality, defect and material parameters is to be carried out. From this, methods and strategies for forming paper can be derived.

Coordinators: Cédric Brunk M. Sc.
Duration: December 2020 – May 2023
Funded by: AiF IGF Nr. 21513


For packaging in the food and consumer goods industries, the market is dominated by plastics that can be cost-effectively thermoformed into flexible shapes. However, pollution of the environment, in particular the oceans by plastics, which are difficult to decompose, requires the establishment of more sustainable materials. Extensive research efforts in recent years have opened up the renewable material paper for customized packaging solutions, since the material decomposes in a short time span without releasing pollutants. Although it is already possible to produce paper packages in a wide range of shapes, there is a lack of possibilities for assessing the forming suitability of paper materials based on standardized specifications or test methods. Hence, material manufacturers lack target values for the material development and users lack evaluation values for the material selection.

[1] Analysis and correlation of material and component properties to derive a universal formability prediction methodology


This is where the “UniVorsUm” project comes in. In close cooperation with the Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) and the Steinbeis Universität, the PtU is working on the development of these standards for the forming of paper by deep drawing and hydroforming. For this purpose, a wide range of industrially available material grades as well as papers specially produced in the laboratory for forming purposes are being investigated in detail and used to produce packagings. Quality parameters for the assessment of forming results are worked out in close cooperation with the application industry and are used to describe representative parts to be produced using deep drawing and hydroforming processes. Thus, a large number of quality parameters describing the forming results is available for each material and each shape. The quality parameters are combined with a large number of material parameters, which can be determined with the test rigs and experimental equipment supplied by collaborating partners. Using machine learning methods, the essential correlations of forming qualities and material properties are subsequently identified, so that a detailed description of the forming suitability is possible with a reduced number of characteristic values. Finally, the knowledge acquired is harmonized in a test methodology, which consequently allows characteristic values and test standards for assessing the forming suitability of paper materials to be created.


The IGF project No. 21513 of the research association “Papiertechnische Stiftung” (PTS) was funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) within the framework of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.

We would also like to thank the industrial partners who support the “UniVorsUm” research project in the project advisory committee.

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