Image: Hands crocheting a yellow round circle with a crochet hook; Copyright: envato

Machine crochet for textiles and components


When it comes to crocheting, many people think of a leisure hobby. However, this technique can be used to manufacture impressive products such as components made from fiber composites. In an interview with K-Mag, Jan Lukas Storck from Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences explains how a newly developed crochet machine works and how it contributes to automation.
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Image: Interior of a possible Hyperloop pod; Copyright: THL

High-performance adhesive for the transportation systems of the future


When you sit on a train, you probably rarely realize how much technology and expertise from a wide range of industries has gone into its creation. The materials used are diverse. The various elements are joined together into a whole by welding, screwing, riveting, bolting and now, increasingly, gluing. New adhesives are opening up many possibilities in design and performance improvements.
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Image: completed demonstrator; Copyright: DLR

Thermoplastics in aircraft construction – less weight, more future


Every gram counts: In aviation, a weight reduction of just one kilogram can save up to 25,000 litres of fuel annually. Plastics can be the key to this. The DLR uses carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics to make aircraft fuselages more resource-efficient. Within the framework of the Large Passenger Aircraft project, fundamentally new technologies have even been developed for this purpose.
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Image: Recycled thermoplastic carbon fiber reinforced UD tape reflected on the tray against a gray background; Copyright: Fraunhofer IPT

Unwinding in high quality: Continuously detached and recycled thermoplastic carbon fiber tapes with a new recycling approach


Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a recycling process to recover used fiber composite material from pressure tanks and use it for new lightweight products. The process preserves over 90 percent of the materials' mechanical properties. This contributes to the sustainable production of thermoplastic fiber composite products.
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Image: Illustration showing various products made of fibre composites; Copyright: herone GmbH

Lightweight construction: customised thermoplastic fibre composite profiles enable more sustainable flying


When flying, every gram determines the fuel consumption of the aircraft. To make air travel more climate-friendly, aircraft must become lighter. This can be achieved with components made of plastic, especially fibre composites. The start-up herone produces such. The special thing about them: They are thermoplastic fibre composite profiles with customised properties.
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Image: Football player jumping up to kick a football; Copyright: LightFieldStudios

Bend it like PU – Plastics in sport


Today, no one can imagine leather balls, wooden rackets, bamboo poles or cinder tracks in sporting competition. Natural materials have now been almost completely replaced by other materials: plastics. They are light, robust and highly functional. Thanks to intensive research, they are also becoming more and more efficient – and ultimately lead to new world records.
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Photo: White Boeing stands in a large hall ; Copyright: astakhovyaroslav

First Boeing 777 with AeroSHARK takes off on passenger flights


The first Boeing operated by Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) took off on a passenger flight equipped with the new Surface technology developed jointly by Lufthansa Technik and BASF. Modified aircraft now begins validation of savings potential in daily flight operations. The fuel and emissions savings of around one percent calculated.
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Building and construction sector: An industry relies on plastics


Polymers are as diverse as their chemical composition. Plastics come in hard, soft, flexible, brittle, opaque, transparent - just as required. They impress with their durability, cost-effectiveness, impermeability to water, high formability, corrosion resistance and low weight. This makes them the ideal building material - and an environmentally friendly alternative to other materials.
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Photo: Artemis 1 spacecraft in space for testing high-performance plastics; Copyright: German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Fly me to the moon: how high-performance plastics contribute to radiation protection in space


When it comes to the use of high-performance plastics in space, you probably first think of spacesuits or lightweight components. But there is another area of application: radiation protection. Space radiation is a risk to humans that should not be underestimated. In the MARE experiment, this risk is to be determined in order to develop protective measures for future space flights.
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Safely above the clouds – plastics in aviation


Around 10,000 m altitude, speeds of almost 1,000 km/h, outside temperatures as low as -60°C. One of the reasons why we as airline passengers don't notice any of this is because of plastics. These are not only mechanically and chemically resistant, but also lightweight. And lighter aircraft cause fewer CO2 emissions, which is of great importance for achieving climate targets.
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Same but different: say hello to the 3D printed trombone


It looks and sounds like a standard trombone - but is actually lightweight and made of carbon fiber rather than brass metal. To craft the musical instrument using this raw material, additive manufacturing is the right application for success: the process provides great options to manufacture the relevant molds used to build the instrument.
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Lightweight truck-mounted toolbox with novel plastic composite hybrid solution


SABIC is cooperating with Dongfeng on the development of a novel plastic composite hybrid solution to produce a robust yet weight-saving toolbox for assembly on vehicles.
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Microfliers: Polymers on a mission for the environment


They are the size of a grain of sand and resemble trundling maple seeds: the flying microchips that researchers at Northwestern University have now developed. In the future, they should make it possible to monitor air pollution or airborne diseases. Polymers play a fundamental role in this. John Rogers tells us more in an interview with K-MAG.
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3D printing of multilayered materials for smart helmets


A mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at The University of Texas at Arlington is developing advanced helmets to ensure that members of the military are as protected as possible from blasts and other types of attacks.
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