Cluster Management Excellence
Funded projects

HEA2D

Researchers are seeking to develop manufacturing processes suitable for mass production of innovative products from 2D nano materials.

The “HEA2D” consortium aims to establish the basic conditions for creating a continuous processing chain for two-dimensional nano materials.

2D materials processed in mass production have the potential to create integrated, systemic product and manufacturing solutions which are socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. 2D materials will help to address the climate change and the increasing shortage of resources, as well as to provide environmentally friendly, affordable energy supplies and mobility, and to develop new, innovative solutions. Although the potential of this new class of materials for more and more applications is being increasingly explored under laboratory conditions, large-scale manufacturing of products functionalised by 2D materials has not yet come within reach, due to the fragmented processing chain. Because of this, the innovative development of 2D materials has not led to any actual significant product innovations so far.

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In the joint HEA2D project, research is carried out to develop a continuous processing chain, consisting of various separation processes for 2D materials and processes suitable for mass production to transfer these on plastic film and integrate them into plastic components. The technical side of separating 2D materials is handled by AIXTRON SE. Other project partners of Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid (KIMW) for integrating these materials into plastic parts are the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) and Coating Machinery GmbH (Coatema). The work is supported by the Chairs of “Materials for Electrical Engineering” (University of Duisburg-Essen) and “Graph-based Nano Technology” (University of Siegen) in the area of nano analytics and the development of prototype construction elements.

The results of the project are presented via the consortium partners’ existing cooperation networks to interested North Rhine-Westphalian companies, with the objective of including suggestions from end users in the processing chain at an early stage of development. The platform of the specialist group “Graphs and 2D Materials” and the cluster “Kunststoffland NRW” in North Rhine-Westphalia are used for this purpose.

„HEA2D“ is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020.

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Acoustics OPT

Contest: Leading market contest New Materials.NRW

The reduction of noise, for example in automotive passenger compartments, has become more and more significant in recent years, primarily due to light-weight construction and low-noise electric drive systems. Background noises such as rattling and creaking irritate customers and give them the impression that the car’s components have been poorly installed or are of inferior quality. Special attention must therefore be paid to the choice of suitable materials and the design of components in vehicle interiors. In light-weight construction, an effective and efficient way to insulate and dampen structure-borne and airborne sound is provided mainly by plastics in combination with other materials, due to their anisotropy created by fibre orientation or foam structures, and their visco-elasticy. The objective of this project is therefore to develop and investigate new materials for plastic injection moulding, which are optimally suited for acoustic parts design in light-weight construction, using measurement and simulation equipment.

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Tests carried out so far have revealed that plastic materials with a pronounced anisotropy must be considered differently to isotropic materials. Unlike isotropy, anisotropy is characterized by directional dependency of the material’s physical properties, which arise primarily from fibre orientations or foam structures in thermoplastic injection moulding.
The effects of the manufacturing process are addressed by rheological process simulation and statistical test planning. In this research project, plastic materials are developed, simulated and tested with the objective of optimizing the acoustic attributes of light-weight parts. The main focus of the research is lies on the development of thermoplastic materials for injection moulding, which can be used to make products for lightweight automotive design. For this purpose, suitable natural fibres (such as wood, sunflower seed shells, hemp, coconut fibre and sisal) are tested, as well as new fillers or functional substances (such as xerogels or hollow glass microspheres), foamed structures (created by MuCell or Cellmould injection moulding) and various combinations of these processes and materials with each other. Applications for products from other industrial sectors such as aviation technology are also conceivable.

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Lapix 3D

Contest: Leading Market Contest.NRW

The individualisation of products is becoming an increasingly important argument for the market success of all types of goods. Individual design, personalised surface finish or user-friendly operating elements are decisive selection criteria for end consumers. As a part of flexible manufacturing strategies in terms of batch sizes and design variants with a combined technological and organisational approach in line with the “Industrie 4.0” concept, individualisation of products and production processes is becoming an important trend.

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For bulk commodities and packaging products, individualised, customised series have already been in demand for a long time, for example for the World Soccer Cup or Christmas editions. In the automotive sector, the option of individualisation in the form of special design variants with a limited scope for alterations is already available today. However, there is still a lack of technologies for individual design of specific product features based on a uniform, mass-produced component with subsequent functionalization. Processes available today for individualisation on a limited scale have the drawback of being restricted to 2D surfaces.

By an innovative process technology, the drawbacks mentioned above are to be avoided, enabling individualisation of complex 3D components. A new process is being developed for the technological implementation of photorealistic pictures on three-dimensional components. For this purpose, a special laser ablation process is used to create extremely fine colour pixels. With easy-to-operate, low-priced laser modules, individualisations can be integrated decentrally into various production plants and manufacturing steps, thus opening up opportunities for new logistic concepts.

LAPIX 3D is a joint project of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology Aachen, Linden GmbH and Kunststoff-Institut Lüdenscheid.

This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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