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.
A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?
23.05.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy