Photo: Chelsea L


The Hybrid Laminar Flow Control (HLFC) concept is based on suctioning air through microperforated skin which generates an enlargement of laminar flow regime in the leading edge of aircraft structures (wings, tail, etc.) reducing fuel consumption. It is estimated that the implementation of this concept in large passenger aircrafts (e.g. Airbus A330-200) can contribute to a reduction of more than 10% in fuel consumption. Therefore, successful development of HLFC will greatly contribute to develop greener aircrafts and reduce the CO2 footprint and air pollutant emissions of air traffic which is expected to double in the next 15 years reaching more than 8 billion passengers in 2037.


Titanium alloys are being investigated for the manufacturing of microperforated skin of aircraft structures due to their excellent mechanical properties, strength-to-density ratio and outstanding corrosion resistance. Considering real scale structures, the successful forming of microperforated Titanium skin meeting the required quality and dimensional tolerance specifications is a challenging task due to the big size, high curvature on the leading edge, springback effect and oxidation issues. Moreover, variable microperforation entails a new challenge. The project will study stretch forming and hot forming technologies.

Photo: Courtesy of Sofitec

Photo: Courtesy of Sofitec


To demonstrate technical feasibility of forming real-scale leading edge HLFC wing structures with variable microperforation patterns with the assistance of new FEM simulation tools. The project will contribute to increase the maturity level, robustness and reliability of simulation tools for metal forming manufacturing techniques as key tools for improved designs and production process of aeronautical parts.


Forming of microperforated titanium demonstrators

Development of

  1. suitable forming process for the real-scale manufacturing of leading edge HLFC wing outer skins and
  2. supporting simulation tools to minimize initial process development costs of large structures composed by both constant and variable microperforation patterns meeting requested quality criteria and dimensional tolerances.
What is simulation for?
  • To optimize forming cycle and tooling design considering springback phenomena in stretch forming.
  • To optimize forming cycle considering stress relaxation phenomena and oxidation in hot forming.
  • To determine suitable process window and optimum forming parameters (holding time, temperature, strain rate…) with minimum experimental work.
  • To analyse the influence of the material properties (Ti Gr 2 versus Ti Gr 5, effect of microperforation density).
  • To investigate influence of variable microperforation pattern in final part quality and process performance.

Various demonstrators will be manufactured:

  • Small-scale will include panels with critical curvature
  • Large-scale will include up-scaled panels and Ground Base demonstrator.Small-scale demonstrators will be manufactured with both forming technologies, stretch and hot forming. Various large-scale demonstrators will be manufactured by stretch forming. The most promising technology will be selected for the manufacturing of the Ground Base demonstrator.


Reduce setup and forming process development costs of new parts by 30% by reducing the number of experimental trials, tooling design modifications and implementing “low cost” large tooling concepts.

Reduce forming process development times by 30% by reducing the number of experimental trials and tooling delivery times through the virtual optimization of process parameters (holding time, temperature, strain rate…) and simulation of springback and stress relaxation effects.

Become reference industrial key players in the manufacturing of future HLFC wing structures to support OEMs and TIER1 aero companies.


Develop forming technologies that will enable a reduction of 10% in fuel consumption in future LPA aircrafts thanks to the implementation of HLFC concept.

Reduce CO2 footprint by 10% and air pollutant emissions of future aircrafts.

MICROFORM project will have a relevant contribution to the FlightPath2050 environmental and industrial competitiveness goals.



The work plan is divided into 8 WPs – 2cross-cutting WPs (dedicated to Project Management and to Dissemination and Exploitation), and 6 technical WPs – with a duration of 32 months (from 1st May 2020 to 31st December 2022).

  • WP1 is dedicated to the specifications related to the demonstrators and the forming processes, including the completion of experimental forming process optimisation.
  • WP2 will address the characterization of the material (Ti Gr 2 and Ti Gr 5).
    WP2 will be also focused on the development of FEM simulation tools for both stretch and hot forming processes.
  • WP3 will address the manufacturing of small-scale demonstrators and the adjustment and validation of FEM simulation tool employing these geometries.
  • WP4 will deal with the design and manufacturing of forming tools for large-scale demonstrators.
  • WP5 will address the manufacturing of the large-scale demonstrators.
  • WP6 will be focused on the techno-economic viability assessment for high-production rate.
  • WP7. Project Management.
  • WP8. Exploitation and Dissemination.

WP7. Project Management.

WP8. Exploitation and Dissemination.


Project meetings

Due to COVID-19 situation the partners could not organized the kick-off meeting yet. However, they met through teleconferences to stablish the basis of the work and discuss about technical details. The partners together with the Topic Manager meet on-line once per month to share a common vision of the project needs, planning and tasks for the successful achievement of the outcomes.


MICROFORM project will be carried out by 4 partners from 2 different countries (Spain and Germany), with complementary skills and experience, covering the whole project value chain. The partners are referent entities in their fields at European level.

LORTEK is the project coordinator. LORTEK and HZG have previously worked with microperforated Titanium structures and both have experience with FEM simulation tools, so they will mainly contribute

to the definition of conditions and FEM analysis for stretch forming process in the case of LORTEK and hot forming process in the case of HZG.

SOFITEC will be in charge of demonstrator manufacturing by stretch forming, while FORMTECH will manufacture the demonstrators by hot forming. LORTEK will be responsible of exploitation and dissemination.

AERNNOVA is the Topic Manager and will steer the MICROFORM project included in the Large Passenger Aircraft (LPA) Programme of the Clean Sky2 Joint Undertaking.

Dr. Pedro Álvarez
Project Coordinator

Dr. Rubén Escribano
Technical coordinator

Legal Advice

Legal Information

In keeping with Act 34/2002 dated 11 July, on Information and e-Business Society Services, we are informing you that the internet domain, www.microformproject.eu, is owned by Lortek, S. Coop. (F20759072), located in Arranomendia kalea, 4A, 20240 Ordizia (Gipuzkoa), telephone number 943882303, e-mail lortek@lortek.es, and listed with the Register of Cooperatives in Euskadi, under number 2013.0.053.

Lortek, S. Coop. (hereinafter “LORTEK” or “the company”) is a technological research and development centre. The website at www.microformproject.eu (hereinafter, “the website”) is a website owned by LORTEK.

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Access to this website, as well as the use that may be made of the information it contains, are the exclusive liability of the user. The user commits him/herself to use this in keeping with the purpose of the website.

The user may not make illicit use of the information contained in this website or perform acts that may damage or alter the information systems thereof.

The inclusion or communication of content by users that is false or inaccurate or that leads or may lead LORTEK or other users or third parties to error is prohibited. Users shall be solely liable for the damages they may cause by communicating such data.

The use of personal data belonging to third parties without their consent, as well as the use of third-party identification data with the intention of impersonating or pretending to be another person or entity is prohibited.

LORTEK exerts the maximum effort to prevent errors in the contents published on the website, reserving the authority to modify these at any time. LORTEK expressly denies any liability due to error or omission in the contents of this website for any damages that may be due to the lack of veracity, accuracy and timeliness thereof.

The website may offer links to other websites or facilitate access to these by means of a search engine lodged therein. LORTEK does not assume any liability with regard to the websites linked or the results of the searches, since it exercises no type of control over these, their content, products or the services they offer, etc. The purpose of these services is to inform the user of other sources of information. Hence, the user accesses their contents under his sole liability, subject to the terms of use applying to these websites.

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LORTEK shall not assume liability for any consequence or damage that may arise from the use of this website or its contents, including damages in information technology and the introduction of viruses or any type of malware. LORTEK does not ensure the absence of viruses from the website or other elements uploaded by unrelated third parties that may cause alterations to users’ hardware or software systems, although it makes use all the means at its disposal to prevent this.

LORTEK reserves the right to modify or delete the design, configuration and information contained in this website at any time without prior notice and/or justification, if it so considers appropriate. LORTEK does not assume liability for the damages that such modifications may cause. It shall nevertheless use all the resources it avails of to inform users of any such modifications.

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In no case shall access or browsing the website imply a total or partial waiver, conveyance or permit for personal use from LORTEK with regard to its intellectual and industrial property rights for the benefit of the user. The unauthorised reproduction, distribution, merchandising or transformation of these works constitutes breach of the intellectual property rights of LORTEK.

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These Terms and Conditions may undergo modifications whenever LORTEK considers such timely, either to adapt to legal changes or to carry out other types of improvements. Such modifications will be valid starting from their publication on this website. LORTEK shall use the means at its disposal to announce the changes made to website users.

4. Privacy Policy – Protection of Personal Data

4.1 Introduction

In keeping with Organic Act 03/2018 dated 05 December on the Protection of Personal Data (hereinafter the “LOPD”) and the regulations for its implementation, users are informed that the personal data they facilitate through e-mails sent over website forms, private areas or any other media lodged on this website shall be incorporated upon agreement into files owned by LORTEK (File Manager) in order to attend to the consultations and requests received, contact you, and manage the services requested, commercial relations and legitimate functions proper to its activity.

Your personal data shall be processed confidentially. LORTEK is committed to user privacy and personal data protection and uses all the resources within its power to ensure the security and privacy of interested parties. LORTEK complies with the legislation in force on Personal Data Protection, is listed with the General Register of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, and acts in accordance with the recommendations, reports, innovations and directives made available by the different national and European data protection agencies and other control authorities.

4.2 Gathering of Personal Data

LORTEK does not require you to provide personal data to access the website. However, there is a contact form, use of which requires the user to facilitate personal data. Users give their personal data freely and voluntarily. LORTEK does not request personal data in addition to that necessary for you to receive the service requested.

Users who upload any type of content on this website (data, texts, videos, sound, photos, graphs, messages or other materials) state and assure that they do so in a manner compliant with the conditions set forth herein. Users who upload the personal data of third parties state that they have the consent and permission of these for the publication thereof.

Should any of our services be intended for minors, LORTEK will request the consent of their parents or guardians to gather their personal data or, as applicable, to process their data.

Users are solely responsible for the veracity and accuracy of the data uploaded, whereby LORTEK is exonerated of any liability in this regard. The users, in any case, vouch and respond for the accuracy, validity and authenticity of the personal data facilitated and commit themselves to keep these duly updated.

MICROFORM Project participants’ data may be transmitted to the different companies forming the MICROFORM Consortium for project management purposes, always subject to compliance with the laws on personal data protection. Likewise, pictures taken at the different events organised in project execution may be published on this website.

The dispatch of information through this website necessarily entails express authorisation for the data processing described in this privacy policy and in the general website terms and conditions.

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You may exercise your rights of access, rectification, cancellation and opposition, as well as withdraw your consent or make any other request on this matter in writing, addressed to the File Manager, Lortek, S. Coop, in Arranomendia kalea, 4A, 20240 Ordizia (Gipuzkoa), tel. 943882303, or through the e-mail address lortek@lortek.es. The request must be sent with copy of proof of petitioner’s identity (National ID Card). The control authority you may address in the event you are not in agreement with the resolution of your requests, or to file a complaint, is the Agencia de Protección de Datos: www.agpd.es

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For the purpose already mentioned, this website could be measured and analysed by Google Analytics and/or similar tools, which may use page bookmarkers and cookies to analyse what takes place on the different pages of this website.

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LORTEK reserves the right to adapt its privacy policy to legislative or jurisprudential changes as it sees fit. Should LORTEK introduce any modification, the new text shall be published on this same website, where the user will be able to know about it. In any event, relations with the users shall be governed by the rules provided for at the specific time of website access. Thus, LORTEK recommends that you visit this privacy policy every time you access the website.

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LORTEK shall pursue breach of the foregoing terms and conditions as well as any undue use of the contents presented on this website, exercising every civil and criminal action that may be applicable in law.