Press

Our press releases provide information concerning current topics relating to the Fraunhofer WKI. Images may only be used in conjunction with the press release. Any other usage must be agreed with the initiator. Please always state Fraunhofer WKI as the image source unless otherwise indicated. In the case of media coverage, we kindly request that you send us a specimen copy. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Press releases

Reset
  • A car door is positioned behind mats made from flax and a glass jar containing resin.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Federico Böhm

    In automobile racing, lightweight bodies made from plastic and carbon fibers have been standard for many years because they enable drivers to reach the finish line more quickly. In the future, lightweight-construction solutions could help reduce the energy consumption and emissions of everyday vehicles. The catch is that the production of carbon fibers is not only expensive but also consumes considerable amounts of energy and petroleum. In collaboration with Porsche Motorsport and Four Motors, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI have succeeded in replacing the carbon fibers in a car door with natural fibers. This is already being installed in small series at Porsche. The project team is now taking the next step: Together with HOBUM Oleochemicals, they want to maximize the proportion of renewable raw materials in the door and other body parts - using bio-based plastics and paints.

    more info
  • Graphic representation of the ceiling system module with six individual elements (boxes) placed next to one another.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Steffen Sydow

    During BAU ONLINE 2021, the researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI will be presenting possibilities for incorporating renewable raw materials such as wood foam, balsa wood and flax fibers into future-oriented applications. By means of 3D models of a stand-up paddleboard and a ceiling system module, the researchers will demonstrate the versatility of the possibilities for replacing petrochemical raw materials or concrete with renewable resources.

    more info
  • Graphic representation of the body of a stand-up paddleboard.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Christoph Pöhler

    Researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI are developing a stand-up paddleboard with a lightweight sandwich element made from renewable raw materials. For the core, balsa wood from disused wind-energy rotor blades is being used - a sustainable solution for their high-quality recycling. The outer shell consists of bioplastics which are reinforced with regionally available flax fibers.

    more info
  • Hall with a large test facility made from steel in which a wood-concrete composite element is clamped. This consists of two horizontal wooden beams, spaced approximately half a meter apart, with a concrete slab bonded onto them.
    © University of Kassel I Jens Frohnmüller

    By means of an innovative bonding technology, high-performance timber-concrete composite elements can be produced faster and more easily. As a result of the new joining technology, which was developed by researchers in a cooperative project involving the Fraunhofer WKI, the composite elements become more competitive in comparison to pure concrete elements. The utilization of the renewable raw material wood can therefore be increased in the construction industry.

    more info
  • A viscous, honey-colored liquid is poured from a glass vessel into a metal container.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Manuela Lingnau

    In collaboration with industrial partners, researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI are developing UV-curing materials for additive manufacturing with improved properties. The team thereby utilizes itaconic acid that has been biotechnologically extracted from renewable raw materials. The results of the project so far will be presented in a free virtual technology discussion hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on 11th November 2020. It will take place within the framework of the “Formnext Connect” trade fair.

    more info
  • Press release / 2020

    Holistic research for more natural insulation materials in construction

    Braunschweig / September 30, 2020

    Within the graphic of a house, the following standards are shown: Sustainability evaluation, Moisture protection, Fire protection, Glimmer, Sound insulation, Emissions, Thermal insulation.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Manuela Lingnau

    With natural insulation materials, buildings can be constructed with calculable safety. This is the outcome of an interdisciplinary research project with 12 research partners and widespread support from industry. Under the supervision of the Fraunhofer WKI, the researchers determined the characteristic material values which will enable extensive component tests, such as in sound insulation and fire protection, to be considerably reduced in the future. On the basis of the measurement of natural insulation materials, standards and building legislation can be adapted, enabling these insulation materials to be utilized more easily in the future.

    more info
  • View into an opened test chamber in which a wall component has been prepared for examination.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Manuela Lingnau

    Researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI and the Thünen Institute of Wood Research have compared emissions from individual building materials with emissions from wall structures and with concentrations of volatile organic compounds in the indoor air of model houses. The result: Even under controlled conditions, emission measurements of individual materials rarely allow statements to be made concerning complete systems such as wall structures, let alone real residential buildings. In principle, however, system tests on entire components in large test chambers are suitable for approximating reality and describing the interactions between the emissions from the materials, thereby taking into account the structure of the construction. The examination of model systems does not, however, make it possible to provide precise information regarding emissions in real living situations, even in the foreseeable future, as the overall situation is significantly influenced by, for example, people and the weather.

    more info
  • Press release / 2020

    Science meets design: strong and flexible composite materials made from lignin

    Braunschweig / September 11, 2020

    Project staff in white coats examine samples of lignin in a laboratory.
    © Fraunhofer WKI I Manuela Lingnau

    Researchers from the Fraunhofer WKI and designers from the greenlab of the weißensee academy of art berlin cooperated within the framework research program of the Fraunhofer Network “Science, Art and Design” in order to develop application possibilities for the plant material lignin. This resulted in a variety of panel materials for furniture construction and a flexible leather alternative for the fashion industry. The path leading towards the aim of replacing petrochemical raw materials in the processing industry with lignin has thereby been shortened.

    more info
  • Press release / 2020

    New thermography robot enables internal inspection of rotor blades

    Braunschweig / September 09, 2020

    Device with a caterpillar drive, cameras and radiant heater on white background.
    © IAI GmbH

    In order to increase the safety and economic efficiency of wind turbines, researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI, in collaboration with project partners, have developed a thermography robot for the internal inspection of rotor blades. The Fraunhofer WKI heat-flow thermography methods are already being successfully utilized for quality control of the external surface of rotor blades. Production defects close to the surface can thereby be determined. Now, imperfections on the inside of the rotor blade can also be detected.

    more info
  • Press release / 2020

    Polymer fiber-coating makes natural-fiber-reinforced plastics more resilient

    Braunschweig / September 02, 2020

    Vier Streifen Flachsgewebe in unterschiedlicher Dicke und Farbintensität liegen auf einer Tischplatte.
    © Fraunhofer WKI | Natalie Vellguth

    Natural-fiber-reinforced plastics (NFRP) become more resilient when the natural fibers are encased in a special coating. This has been determined by researchers at the Fraunhofer WKI. Through the application of a resin layer and pressing to form a composite material, the NFRP exhibit improved mechanical, thermal and hygric properties and greater chemical stability. In the future, NFRP can consequently be utilized in considerably expanded areas of application, for example in the interior of vehicles.

    more info