Based on new hybrid intelligent construction elements (HICE), researchers at the University of Stuttgart have developed a shell structure which is able to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
In a further step, the scientists will now use their knowledge to develop machines from these new structural elements which will also be able to react to their environments and adapt to given conditions. According to experts, this development may eventually lead to a significant acceleration of entire construction processes in mechanical, electrical and control engineering.
A research group of six engineers from different fields such as civil, aerospace, mechanical and process engineering is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) with a grant of 1.858 m € assigned for the first three years of a six-year project. The research group has started to operate in June.
The structural elements (e.g. shafts, levers, tractive or surface elements) are provided with integrated sensors, actuators and control elements. Light-weight and wear-resistant materials increase their functionality. Within the course of three years, the scientists from Stuttgart hope to assemble six newly-developed HICEs (membrane shells, adaptive cover elements, tile coating elements, inflexible force transmission elements, hybrid rope elements, bearing and lever elements) into a large-scale demonstrator shell structure measuring five square metres, which will combine all of the HICEs’ functionalities. The adaptive shell structure will be translucent and much lighter than conventional supporting structures. If a change in environmental factors such as wind load, wind direction or snow load occurs, the structure shall be able to dissipate strain autonomously and adaptively via levers, ties and shell elements in order to prevent failure. The demonstrator will be exhibited by the University of Stuttgart.
Portability to all engineering disciplines
In a second phase of the project, the participating researchers will try to show by means of further constructions that HICEs can be applied in all engineering disciplines. By way of example, a hybrid engine bonnet shall be developed which may be combined with state-of-the-art “active” bonnets. This could improve pedestrian safety significantly by preventing severe injuries in case of a collision with this type of bonnet: Standard active bonnets are able to report the clash via additional sensors to an electronic control device which then prompts the rear part of the bonnet to be lifted upwards via a lever structure. This creates a protective distance between the accident victim and the hard engine parts beneath the bonnet. An intelligent hybrid engine bonnet would additionally create a specific deformation of the bonnet in reaction to the parameters of the actual collision. Based on new materials, the bonnet shall be able to soften or harden relevant areas of its structure autonomously in order to prevent injuries as far as possible.
In addition, demonstrators for the application of HICEs in shaft-to-collar connections and machine enclosures will be developed.
The participating institutions are the Institutes of Mechanical Handling and Logistics, of Construction Technology and Technical Design, of Textile and Process Engineering, of Aircraft Design, of Design and Construction and of Metal Forming Technology. “Within six years, the research group will have developed an entirely new class of hybrid intelligent construction elements together with its respective constructional and computational methods. We will have reached a new level of systems integration”, says research group spokesman Prof. Karl-Heinz Wehking.
Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material
21.11.2017 | Rice University
Quantum dots amplify light with electrical pumping
21.11.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences