ITM @ Techtextil: Interdisciplinary projects
ITM @ Techtextil

Interdisciplinary projects

Long-term stable, lightweight amphibian guiding system made of textile concrete – a novelty for the sustainable protection of endangered species (Source: ITM)
Long-term stable, lightweight amphibian guiding system made of textile concrete – a novelty for the sustainable protection of endangered species (Source: ITM)

Amphibians are considered to be particularly endangered, with 43 % of all amphibian species in Europe experiencing population declines. The destruction of the animals' habitat is considered to be one of the main causes of their disappearance. Disadvantages of previous guidance systems made of e.g. plastic or solid reinforced concrete are, on one hand the personnel-intensive installation of temporary systems and on the other the deficient long-term stability as well as the considerable resource requirement of stationary systems. Against this background, a long-term stable, lightweight amphibian guiding system made of textile concrete was developed. This represents a novelty for the sustainable protection of endangered species in the transport sector, since the previous deficits of conventional guidance systems no longer exist in the new development.
Lightweight construction – secure connection – heavy load-bearing: What do you think of when you think of mounting points for lightweight construction: a necessary evil or technological strength? Unless they are elaborately bonded, solid inserts are used for most mounting points. In the process, either load-bearing capacity or lightweight construction falls by the wayside. Moreover, overloading (e.g. crash) almost always leads to catastrophic failure. Thanks to woven sandwich cores with a form-fit integrated insert, lightweight construction and extreme load-bearing capacity are no longer a contradiction in terms. The new sandwich cores have a low inherent mass, are highly stable at the same time, but can still be formed. The form-fit integrated insert achieves extreme load-bearing capacity (up to a factor of 5 above the state-of-the-art). Even after overloading, the assembly point thus retains a high residual load-bearing capacity – a safety guarantee in critical situations.
There is no need to change existing processes in component production. Instead, machining steps can be reduced and component quality increased. There is a suitable combination of woven sandwich core and insert for every application, manufactured in a highly scalable process (batch size 1 to large series).
In the composite industry, there is currently a high demand for near-net-shaped tubular or profile-shaped textile reinforcement semi-finished products with cross-sections that vary in the longitudinal direction of the FRP component and load-adapted arranged reinforcement threads. Research focuses on the development and implementation of processes for the load-oriented integration of reinforcing yarn systems into the mesh structure in the form of multilayer knitted fabrics (MLG). The aim is the near-net-shape and form-compatible production of 2D and 3D knitted preforms, which can be consolidated into FRP components with complex geometries using closed processes. A further research focus is the textile-technological further development of the knitting machine technology needed for the implementation of the knitted structures in line with the requirements. In this context, technologies for the realization of near-net shape and geometry-compatible knitted reinforcement semi-finished products are addressed, which can be machine-produced in a load-path and forming-compatible manner and with the avoidance of material waste. This can significantly increase material and resource efficiency and thus make an economic contribution to sustainability.
A highlight of the presentation will be the variety of possibilities offered by the structure and process simulation of textile high-performance materials and textile manufacturing processes. At the institute, intensive research is carried out on the modeling and simulation of structures and processes along the entire textile process chain. By means of multi-scale modeling and simulation, a profound understanding of materials and processes is achieved. Models based on the finite element method (FEM) are developed, experimentally validated and applied on the micro-, meso- and macro-scales for yarns, textile structures (e.g. woven, knitted and braided fabrics) and composites or textile-reinforced concrete. The simulation of processing procedures provides designs according to requirements for a subsequent structural investigation and further development of the textile semi-finished products.
Further ITM research activities are focused on the fields of machinery, technology, and product development (fiber composite materials, construction textiles, textile architecture, medical and bio-textiles, sensor network and functional textiles, ready-made products and preforming) and include, among other things, the processing of fiber-based high-tech materials, e.g. carbon, glass, aramid, steel, and ceramic, with a variety of different technologies, and the functionally integrated development of textile (semi-finished) products. In addition to these research activities, modeling and simulation of structures and processes along the entire textile process chain are conducted. This type of interdisciplinary activity demands the development of innovative fiber and hybrid yarn constructions, 2D and 3D reinforcing semi-finished products, finishing, and functionalization technologies as well as respective machinery.
All these innovations will be shown during the Techtextil, the international trade fair for technical textiles and nonwovens, from June 21-24, 2022 in Frankfurt/Germany.

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