Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Based on the model of the bird-of-paradise flower

28.10.2013
First Gips-Schüle Research Prize for bionic façade shading systems

An innovative folding mechanism without joints and hinges: Prof. Dr. Jan Knippers from the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck, Director of the Botanical Gardens at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Dr. Markus Milwich from the Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering Denkendorf as well as their employees are being presented with the Gips-Schüle Research Prize awarded for the first time for the bionic façade shading system Flectofin® and the further developments based on this.


Bionic façade shading systems

University of Stuttgart ITKE

The award is to be presented by retired Minister of State Erwin Teufel on 23rd October 2013 in Stuttgart. The Gips-Schüle Foundation is endowing the prize with 40,000 Euros and will be awarded every two years in future.

Flectofin® is a changeable construction inspired by nature for architecture: it works like a vertical blind. The direction of the louvers can be changed as required in the case of the infinitely adjustable folding mechanism. However, the researchers have done without wear-prone and high-maintenance joints and hinges. In place of this the elastic deformation is based on the folding mechanism in the blossom of the strelitzias. The flower is pollinated by birds in its home country of South Africa, that settle down on the “perch” formed by the plant made of misshapen petals. Due to the weight of the bird, the petals unfold and the plant releases pollen that the bird transfers to the next blossom.

The basis for the Flectofin® folding mechanism is a plastic reinforced with glass fibre that has highly elastic properties and is very malleable. Opening and closing the louvers is linked with bending a rod integrated in the louver through which it turns down up to 90 degrees. The basic principle can be developed into various versions. Since the folding mechanism works without technical joints or hinges and Flectofin® systems can also be attached to curved facades that are burdensome to shade, the researchers are hoping for an important stimulus for modern architecture. The Flectofin® shading system can be used from detached houses up to large façades measuring up to 20 to 30 metres. The research team was already awarded the “Techtextil Innovation Prize 2011 – Architecture“ for technology by Europe’s largest and most important industrial fair for technical textiles as well as the “International Bionic-Award“ by the Schauenburg Foundation in 2012.

The Gips-Schüle Foundation was set up in 1965 with the assets of the Schüle family that had founded the first gypsum factory in Stuttgart in 1870. Its purpose is to promote applied, multidisciplinary research and teaching as well as young researchers. By awarding this prize the foundation is honouring interdisciplinary research projects with a high degree of innovative potential and sustainable benefits for society.

Further information:
Prof. Jan Knippers, University of Stuttgart, Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design,
Tel. 0711/685-83280, info [at] itke.uni-stuttgart.de
Prof. Thomas Speck, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Director Botanical Gardens
Tel. 0761/203-2875, Email: thomas.speck [at] biologie.uni-freiburg.de
Dr. Hans-Herwig Geyer, University of Stuttgart, Head of University Communication and Press Spokesperson,

Tel. 0711/685-82555, Email: hans-herwig.geyer [at] hkom.uni-stuttgart.de

Andrea Mayer-Grenu | Universität Stuttgart
Further information:
http://www.uni-stuttgart.de

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Otto Hahn Medal for Jaime Agudo-Canalejo
21.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung

nachricht Call for nominations of outstanding catalysis researchers for the Otto Roelen Medal 2018
20.06.2017 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>