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Z04: Reasearch Training Group 2430 - Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites

Belongs to:
TopicZ: Special Symposia

The objective of the Research Training Group is the simulation-based development of smart material combinations and gradations for self-sufficient Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites  with structurally integrated actuator and sensor networks to actively and locally adjust component stiffness. Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites also enable the achievement of controlled complex deformation patterns. Of particular interest will be characteristics in terms of large deformation capabilities, high frequencies, and large actuating powers due to sensorial feedback in consideration of thermal and mechanical stress, while simultaneously reducing weight and enhancing compactness.

Due to their ability to change physical or chemical properties (e.g. shape, volume, stiffness, color, or internal temperature) on demand, smart materials have generated increasing interest within the industry over the past ten years. Compared to a traditional rigid design, smart materials offer considerable advantages, such as faster systems, more responsive and reliable processes, and improved operating characteristics.

These advantages makes them suitable for numerous fields of application, including mechanical engineering, vehicle construction, robotics, architecture, orthotics, and prosthetics. Potential applications include systems for precise gripping and transportation processes, such as hand prostheses, automated lids, seals, shapeable membranes, and adaptive flaps for rotor blades of wind turbines as well as trim tabs for ground- and watercraft to effectively reduce flow separation.

Interactive Fiber Rubber Composites represent a new class of composite materials, which are able to modify their shape when electrical, magnetical, or thermal stimulation is applied, thus eliminating the need for additional components (e.g. engines, sophisticated kinematic steering).