CORNET exhibit at Hannover Messe

The exhibit represents a factory building made of perforated metal, symbolising the increased transparency in the production, which is generated by sensor signals during production. The flower vase draws attention to the natural fiber-reinforced plastic production.

At this year’s Hannover Fair, the CORNET project Smart NFR (Sensors for efficient manufacturing of natural fiber reinforced plastics) was exhibited at the central booth of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. More than 200,000 international visitors and 5,000 exhibitors were on site at the world’s leading industrial technology show.

The German-Czech-Polish collaboration project deals with sensor modules for natural fiber reinforced plastic production.

Using renewable natural sources as functional fillers in plastic processing and thus the reduction of non-renewable materials is the main target of the whole plastic industry at the present. The aim of end users as well as compound producers is the replacement of synthetic polymers by using natural fillers (mineral, wood, agricultural and other).

However, the use of natural fillers causes a significant issue within the converting process to final products – increasing wear causes damages on processing tools. This wear provokes a loss of process effectiveness and a frequent replacement of working tools. This leads to higher investment, production and maintenance costs.

The team of “Smart NFR” has developed innovative multifunctional film sensor systems that are applied directly to the tool surface to reduce tool wear. In addition, the production is optimised through the integration of thin-film sensor structures in the coating system developed at the Fraunhofer IST (Fraunhofer Insititue for Surface Engineering and Thin Films).

These developments are of great interest for the population, since an increase of natural substances in plastic is beneficial to the environment because it leads to a reduction of non-recyclable material – a major issue in today’s environmental policy.


Picture: © Fraunhofer IST