With the aim of further networking and promoting scientific exchange among each other, researchers from the five institutes at Hof University of Applied Sciences
- Institute for Information Systems (iisys)
- Institute for Material Sciences (ifm)
- Institute for Water and Energy Management (iwe)
- Institute for Applied Biopolymer Research (ibp)
- and Competence Center Digital Management
Met in mid-September for what is now the 3rd scientific institute colloquium. From numerous posters, i.e. short descriptions of the respective projects, four projects were again selected and presented to the panel by the researchers. This year’s colloquium was moderated by Thomas Weber, research officer at iisys.
Project 1 LinSkin (ibp): Environmentally friendly oilskin
Almost everyone has it in their closet: the rain jacket. But only a few people think about the environmental compatibility of this practical garment. Conventional rain jackets are predominantly equipped with PFCs (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals) – these are hardly degradable, remain in the environment for a very long time and are harmful to our human health. In mid-2020, the first of the chemicals classified as carcinogenic were banned by REACH regulation. They must now be substituted by all manufacturers in the long term. One alternative could be oil coatings. The aim of the LinSkin (Biobased hydrophobic linseed oil finish for rain jacket fabrics) research project, which Isabell Kleiber from ibp presented to her colleagues, is to develop a linseed oil-based textile finish that consists of 100% renewable raw materials but protects the wearer just as well against wetness and wind as conventional rain jackets do.
Traditional linseed oil coatings for textiles are no longer found on the market mainly because they have to cure for a very long time – this is simply uneconomical.
As part of the project, ibp is investigating three modern plasma processes to determine their suitability for significantly accelerating the curing of drying oils. The selected processes are all suitable for subsequent integration into a textile finisher’s production line and could thus bring environmentally friendly “oil stuff” back onto the German market. Isabell Kleiber’s presentation was followed by a lively discussion on questions such as “Does the jacket avoid microplastics?” or “How durable is the environmentally friendly rain jacket?” among others.
Project 2 RuRoRa (ifm): Tubular structures for space travel
In hardly any other field are such high demands placed on the materials used as in aerospace. They not only have to be very light, but also extremely strong and resistant. Following Isabell Kleiber’s presentation, Andreas Hiederer from ifm’s Innovative Textiles research group reported on research into tube structures for aerospace, which are virtually “knitted” and processed into carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) tubes. The tube structures are to be used in the form of linkage structures in satellite technology.
On the circular needling machine specially acquired for the RuRoRa research project ( circular needled C/SiC tube structures for space travel) , structural density and fiber preference directions, for example, are now being investigated on the preforms in order to save material and weight. Furthermore, a resin infiltration process is being developed to ensure damage-resistant downstream processing while maintaining homogeneity of the fiber-matrix distribution.
The audience was enthusiastic about the possible applications of technical textiles in space travel and the state of research on this at the Münchberg Campus. And who knows, maybe in the near future (replacement) parts developed in Münchberg will be installed in space telescopes like the James Webb Telescope..
Project 3 JuraLink (iisys): Hyperlinks for knowledge management
Afterwards, computer scientist Daniel Urban from the Visual Analytics research group at the Institute of Information Systems presented the browser plugin “Weblinks”, which was created and is being further developed in the JuraLink project with a Kronach law firm – the Campuls reported. The innovation here? A user can not only use the Internet as a reader, but also shape the Internet itself: By linking information on web pages, links and PDFs available online according to their own needs and keeping them accessible together. The system being worked on in JuraLink has a digital interface on which links such as current legal texts and judgments can be moved around, wiped away and pinned down like notes on a gel pinboard. The AI behind the interface detects which links are interesting for users and how they relate to each other.
Weblinks” enables a wide range of professional groups – including teachers and developers – to link up current information from their industry. Colleagues can read in much faster, and information does not have to be stored in long link lists. There is the possibility to test a demo version of the demonstrator: https://human.iisys.de/weblinks/
The discussion was mainly about the question: Can your knowledge management system beat Google? The team is sure: Yes, it can.
Project 4 Ice Battery Storage (iwe): Climate-neutral refrigeration technology using solar energy
Finally, Michael Dölz, the head technician of the Institute for Water and Energy Management, presented the ice battery test stand, which we have also already reported on.
The accumulator lowers room temperatures with the help of frozen water, which also serves as an energy or cold store. This can be used, for example, by storing surplus energy produced by a photovoltaic system during the day and releasing it at night – keeping an industrial cold storage room at a constant minus temperature, for example.
One advantage is that a lot of energy can be stored with comparatively little water volume. No electrical storage is needed – and therefore no problematic resources such as rare earths. This ice storage system is being tested at the iwe’s test stand – and it is to be set up for real in the new Center for Water and Energy Management. The audience discussed possible applications.
The evaluation remains exciting – which of these four projects will win?