Technical textiles are assigned more and more properties. Fibre-plastic composites (FKV) are already being used as promising smart materials. These belong to a special type of functional materials that perceive environmental stimuli, react to them and can return to their original state once the stimulus has subsided.
For 20 years now, FKV have enjoyed increasing popularity in the field of resource-efficient mobility. Due to their high stiffness and low weight compared to traditional materials such as aluminium, steel or magnesium, FKVs are used as load-bearing structures in aircraft, automotive, rail and marine traffic.
By integrating functional materials into layered structures, they are provided with structure-integrated functions, such as lighting, de-lcing or continuous structure monitoring, as well as guidance and activation functions. They thus become said smart materials.
Particularly promising smart materials are shape memory alloys (FGL), which are characterized by a high energy density, a high force generation potential and enormous formability and stability in the high-temperature phase. The integration of the FGL during the manufacturing process of reinforcing fabrics guarantees long-term stability, reproducibility and cost reduction with regard to adaptive FKV (AFKV for short), according to the report by Moniruddoza Ashir, Jan Hindahl, Andreas Nocke and Chokri Cherif (Technical University of Dresden) in the technical journal Technische Textilien.
The research of the Dresden scientists shows promising approaches in lightweight structures with morphing capabilities – thanks to the development of AFKV based on FGL actuators. A structural integration of FGL wires in reinforcing fabrics was implemented fully automatically in a single process step and with the aid of weaving (textile) technology.
Further research activities of the Dresden researchers from the “Institut für Textilmaschinen und Textile Hochleistungswerkstofftechnik” (Institute for Textile Machinery and High-Performance Textile Technology) will in future aim to promote the development of adaptive, tapered FKV with locally adjustable bending stiffness in order to ultimately achieve an even greater degree of deformation. Exemplary applications for the developed AFKV include aerodynamic flaps or rudders, for example, but also medical applications for humanoid kinematics and various technical applications for clamping and gripping devices.