11-11-2008: Two novel testing facilities for materials research will be provided to the Technical University of Braunschweig and Hamburg University of Technology by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). For the first time in a university environment, these two major instruments totalling 3.4 million euros will allow researchers to investigate, under realistic stress conditions, the failure mechanisms of large automobile and aircraft components (panels) made of fibre-reinforced composite materials. Until now, this research objective could only be pursued using small laboratory samples, with computers unable to provide adequate simulations.
Components made of fibre-reinforced composites, such as aircraft and automobile body parts, can be designed to be stronger or more rigid than metal-based components. An additional benefit is the option to integrate material-monitoring sensors directly into the component. This could make driving and flying cheaper and safer, as well as more energy-efficient.
"Fibre-reinforced composites have been used rather conservatively in automotive and aircraft engineering," says Burkhard Jahnen from the DFG Engineering Sciences Division, who is in charge of coordinating the DFG's new major-instrumentation initiative. "Because engineers are reluctant to go to the limits of composites and lack sufficient data on how these materials fatigue in long-term use, they tend to design components made of these materials rather generously — which makes aeroplanes, for example, heavier than necessary. That's why the groundbreaking designs that would be possible with fibre composites are still waiting in the starting blocks."
But the findings enabled by the new testing facilities could change this. Up to 60 tons heavy, 6 metres wide and 6.6 metres tall, these large instruments will introduce previously unavailable technology to basic research in Germany. The testing equipment in Hamburg, for example, can expose entire aircraft body segments to the kind of vibration they would be exposed to in air traffic. Thus the knowledge transfer between basic materials research and practical application can close a central gap.
Out of ten funding proposals submitted under the DFG's major-instrumentation initiative, the two proposals from Braunschweig and Hamburg-Harburg were selected because their interdisciplinary approaches proved most convincing to the international team of reviewers. The new testing facilities will also be made available to researchers from other universities investigating fibre-reinforced composites.
This is where you can add this news to your personal favourites
How do bacteria cope when exposed to toxic mercury, how are they able to outlast antibiotics, and how can they be killed using so-called "suicide inhibitors?" These are but a few of the many research topics US biochemist Christopher Walsh has devoted his career as a scientist to. Walsh will ... more
Stefanie Kind, PhD student at the Institute of Biochemical Engineering of the Technische Universität Braunschweig, was awarded with the prestigious “Young Metabolic Engineer Award” During the Metabolic Engineering Conference in Jeju, South Korea, an international jury selected five most exc ... more
Merck KGaA, Applied Materials, Inc. and Braunschweig University of Technology (TU-BS) announced that they have been awarded a grant by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop processes to lower the cost of manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lig ... more
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has approved funding for ten additional core facilities to make existing research instrumentation more easily and efficiently accessible to researchers. This decision was made by the DFG's Joint Committee. The projects wi ... more
Chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of substances for which the 2012 List of MAK and BAT Values submitted by the Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) spe ... more
Exactly four water molecules and one hydrogen chloride molecule are necessary to form the smallest droplet of acid. This was the result of work by the groups of Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith (physical chemistry) and Prof. Dr. Dominik Marx (theoretical chemistry) within the research group FOR 6 ... more
A network of porous carbon tubes that is three-dimensionally interwoven at nano and micro level – this is the lightest material in the world. It weights only 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimetre, and is therefore 75 times lighter than Styrofoam, but it is very strong nevertheless. Scientists ... more
A world premiere: a material which changes its strength, virtually at the touch of a button. This transformation can be achieved in a matter of seconds through changes in the electron structure of a material; thus hard and brittle matter, for example, can become soft and malleable. What mak ... more
Two novel testing facilities for materials research will be provided to the Technical University of Braunschweig and Hamburg University of Technology by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). For the first time in a university environment, these two major ins ... more