Assembly of rotor blades coated with riblet paint. © Mertcan Bayar, E.ON Climate & Renewables, Sweden

Wind power is an important element to achieve sustainability in energy supply. Within the EU project "Riblet4Wind", a team of seven project partners faced the challenge of making the aerodynamics of wind turbines more efficient. One approach was to reduce air resistance. In aircraft construction, it was shown that the functional coating developed at Fraunhofer IFAM with microscopically small grooves – called riblet paint – reduces air resistance and saves fuel. The scientists took advantage of this know-how and adapted the technology to the rotor blades of a wind turbine. The tests under real conditions yielded promising results.

Laser cut decorative wooden and HPL-elements can be equipped with fireproofing now. Bruag AG

Together with BRUAG Fire Protection AG, Empa specialists have developed a new flame retardant for wood and wood-based materials. The colourless additive, which can be easily mixed with coatings and cellulose materials, opens up new applications for wood processing companies. Fire protection requirements are increasing worldwide - especially in public buildings and vehicle construction. This development means that more and more otherwise suitable materials such as wood can no longer be used in many buildings or means of transport and must be substituted by other products. The aim of the CTI funded research project was therefore to develop a flame retardant that increases the fire resistance of such materials without impairing the positive properties of the materials.

 

Biobased film for sustainable packaging. © Fraunhofer IGB

At ICE 2019, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP, for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB and for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will present innovative technologies for sustainable food packaging. They each have extensive expertise in processing, process development and control, the development of special polymer films and the deposition of ultra-thin layers for the packaging industry.

Biological effects under the microscope. Empa

Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.