Dresden-based scientists are attempting to create a new class of materials by integrating sensors and actuators into flexible fiber composites. For this study, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has sanctioned the innovative Research Training Group 2430 “Interactive Fiber-Elastomer Composites” at TU Dresden in association with the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden.
Prof. Chokri Cherif of TU Dresden’s Institute of Textile Machinery and High-Performance Material Technology is the group’s spokesperson. A total of 11 doctoral candidates in 11 sub-projects will be funded over the next 4.5 years.
The aim of these projects is the simulation-based development of smart material combinations for professed autarkic fiber composites. Both sensors and actuators are incorporated into the structures and do not have to be retrofitted anymore. This not only makes the systems stronger, but intricate pre-form patterns can also be fitted separately in the required position – contact-free and reversible. This enables to react precisely and quickly to variable environmental needs.
Thanks to their unique properties, interactive fiber-elastomer composites could be used in a wide range of fields such as prosthetics, orthotics, robotics, mechanical engineering, and architecture. Some examples are construction components (for instance, trim tabs for land and water vehicles) and high-precision systems for gripping and transport procedures (for example, for valves, hand prostheses, and deformable membranes).