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Video: Automated Production Of Bio-based Lightweight Sandwich Structures
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-06-05 00:21
The aim of the new junior research group "Automated, close-to-component production of bio-based lightweight sandwich structures" (Eco Wing) at Chemnitz University of Technology is to develop automated process chains to manufacture lightweight components from bio-based, renewable raw materials. The entire process chain is to be developed to such an extent that a functional rotor blade can be manufactured for a small wind turbine.
Naturally renewable lightweight materials
In a fully automated, reproducible manufacturing process, lightweight sandwich structures made of flax fibers, bio-based plastic and veneer should be created. The naturally renewable lightweight materials are to be processed directly to the component shape with just a few process steps. Significant amounts of material waste can be saved in this way.
"A comparable processing technology is currently only available for composite materials with synthetic carbon and glass fibers and is used, for example, in aviation," says project manager Marc Fleischmann. However, there is currently no solution for the automated processing of renewable natural fibers with a naturally fluctuating shape and fiber length, according to the expert.
So far, natural fiber-reinforced plastics have been used primarily in premium niche products such as bio-based skis or snowboards in highly stressed components. "Some of these components achieve mechanical properties that are comparable to products made from synthetic competition materials," says Fleischmann. The provision of natural fiber tapes of the highest possible quality and at competitive prices is particularly challenging.
Use renewable raw materials inexpensively
In addition to the mechanical material properties, the Eco Wing project should also incorporate cost considerations and ecological considerations such as the carbon footprint. "The Eco Wing project is intended to make a significant contribution to the cost-effective and resource-saving use of renewable raw materials in lightweight construction," says Fleischmann.
The junior research group is financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and with tax funds from the Free State of Saxony based on the budget decided by the members of the Saxon State Parliament.