Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures

Top-level research for international visibility and performance

Welcome to Germany's first and only Federal Cluster of Excellence in the field of lightweight structures. Lightweight construction is a key technology of the future. Wherever masses have to be moved, the optimization of weight is a main focus in order to save raw materials and energy. Thus, it is the aim of the Cluster's research to merge basic technologies suitable for mass-production, comprising plastic, metal, textile and Smart Systems for the development of resource-efficient products and production processes. More than 100 researchers and technicians from a total of six interacting research domains are currently working on the implementation of this project, which is funded by the DFG with 31 million Euros in the period 1st November 2012 to 31st October 2017.


Chemnitz’s top-level research will become more international

Worldwide, Germany is ahead of the USA and Japan, but in second place behind China in exporting research-intensive goods. In order to keep this outstanding position, the Federal Government will strengthen the strategic internationalisation of the top-level research. As part of the funding measure “Internationalisation of top-level clusters, future projects and similar networks”, from now on, eleven projects will be supported by the Federal Ministry of Educa-tion and Research (BMBF) for the international networking of highly innovative regions in Germany with up to four million euros over a period of up to five years. This includes the Federal Cluster of Excellence “Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Struc-tures” (MERGE) at the Technische Universität Chemnitz. It is also the only cluster among the 43 clusters of excellence in Germany, whose internationalisation is promoted in this way.

MERGE’s interdisciplinary approach, fulfilling a bridging function between business and sci-ence, represents currently a unique feature in the German Cluster landscape in the field of the key technology “lightweight”. In addition to large enterprises, the cluster also incorporates many SMEs, which complementary reflect the value chain “From material to lightweight structure”. The cluster’s project results serve leading markets of the automotive industry, aero-space, mechanical engineering and microsystems technology. Thus, the companies involved - especially the Saxon SMEs – receive important impetus for their future sustainable business development. “With the internationalisation of our cluster we want to further strengthen the innovation and competitiveness of our industry partners”, says MERGE CEO Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll and adds: “In the border triangle Poland, Czech Republic and Germany, we have al-ready established highly promising collaborations and contacts that shall now be deepened further”.

“Germany should continue to be a world leader in the export of high-tech goods in the future. Therefore, we promote global networking of science and industry. The new initiative will help companies, universities and research institutions, to take part in international innovation pro-cesses and make them more active”, said the Federal Research Minister Wanka. The selected projects were reviewed and recommended for funding by an independent panel of experts chaired by Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The internationalisation of clusters and networks is part of the new high-tech strate-gy, which the Federal Government uses to turn ideas into innovations and to establish links between science and industry, research and society. At the same time, it is a building block in the Action Plan “International Cooperation” of the BMBF. Thus, future opportunities and tomorrow’s jobs can be created. Besides MERGE, yet another project can be found among the eleven funded clusters and networks from Saxony - the Innovation Network Organic Electronics Saxony (OES). On 30 June, 2015, all the selected projects will be officially awarded by Minister Wanka within the framework of the 3rd International Cluster Confer-ence of the BMBF. Two further rounds of funding are planned.

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MERGE Technology Centre - Construction of the MERGE-machine was initiated

After a nearly one-year building phase, the construction of the MERGE-machine in the new research buildings at the Technische Universität Chemnitz was initiated. On a press tour on June 1st, 2015 Saxony’s State Minister of Finance, Prof. Dr. Georg Unland, and the Rector of the Technische Universität Chemnitz, Prof. Dr. Arnold van Zyl, informed attendees about the progress of work at the Cluster of Excellence.

The State Minister Prof. Dr. Georg Unland stated: “One of the most important milestones for top-level research in Saxony is achieved with the construction of the MERGE-machine. The addition of three new halls delivers the Technische Universität Chemnitz the research spaces that it needs for the successful Cluster of Excellence MERGE. Thus, the best conditions are created for the university to shine on the international stage with outstanding research achievements in one of the key technologies of the future.”

Measuring roughly 25 metres in length, 10 metres in width and 8 metres in height and a total weight of about 200 tonnes, the MERGE-machine represents the heart of the resulting MERGE Technology Centre. It will be used in the future as a manufacturing complex for the combined processing of plastic and metal-based materials, from which, using the basic technologies of forming and injection moulding, components with dimensions of about 1.5 metres x 1.5 metres are produced. The facility can simultaneously process different plastics systems and, due to process combination, it is also more energy-efficient than splitting the process onto multiple machines. The commissioning of the machine is planned for August 2015.

Weitere Einträge zu: MERGE Technology CentreMERGE-machine
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Open day 30.05.2015 | 10:00 - 15:00 clock

You want to know more about the Cluster of Excellence MERGE and the new international Master´s Programme Merge Technologies for Resource Efficiency? Visit us during the open day of Technische Universität Chemnitz in Lecture Hall and Seminar Building N on Campus Reichenhainer Straße 90. We are looking forward to welcoming you!

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2nd IMTC - Registration is now open

Register now.

The conference is aimed at experts from academia and industry who contribute their knowledge to the research and development of lightweight structures and to the corresponding manufacturing technologies. For the second IMTC we want to foreground the interdisciplinary exchange between scientists, researchers and users. In addition to the versatile sessions, once again you will have plenty of opportunities to engage in an open exchange with representatives of different disciplines and to network with experts and peers.

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JEC Europe Paris 2015 - Fair report

From 10 to 12 March, 2015, the most important European Composite Fair, the JEC Europe in Paris, took place for the 50th time. The Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE presented itself together with the Endowed Chair Textile plastic composites and its founding company SLK Schwergewebekonfektion Lichtenstein GmbH.

Using the example of a vehicle seat headrest demonstrator, the Endowed Chair TKV presented the results achieved so far by the Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE in the process engineering of merging plastic and textile reinforcing structures for innovative multi-material lightweight design.

Special attention attracted the OLU-Preg®-textile-reinforced car inner door module that is mass production-ready by injection molding. The module was developed in close cooperation between the company Brose and the TKV Foundation Partner SKL GmbH.

For the first time the Endowed Chair presented their carbon thin film laminates as PA6-FRP. Thirteen wafer-thin unidirectional laminate layers form with a 50% fibre volume content the only 1 mm thick composite. Together with the company M&A Dieterle in Ottenbach in Baden-Württemberg, the Torque-Fibre-Winding (TFW) technology was developed for the large-series production of textile-based thermoplastic prepregs.

Gemeinsam mit dem Unternehmen M&A Dieterle aus Ottenbach in Baden-Württemberg wurde die Torque-Fibre-Winding(TFW)-Technologie zur großserientauglichen Fertigung hierfür erforderlicher textilbasierter Thermoplast-Prepregs entwickelt.

The textile-reinforced foam cores with an extended properties profile in compression and bending elastic deformation behaviour under static and dynamic loads aroused equally keen interest among the international trade fair visitors.

The numerous discussions with an interested audience from the industry and economy as well as concrete coordination with cooperation and research partners, in order to strategically continue with the scientific and technical cooperation, confirm the practice and application-oriented research and development at the TU Chemnitz.

MERGE and the Endowed Chair TKV would like to hereby thank the foundation and research partners SKL GmbH Schwergewebekonfektion Lichtenstein, Oberlungwitz, the Technische Universität Chemnitz and the Saxon Economic Development Corporation for the successful cooperation in the preparation and implementation of our joint presentation at the JEC 2015 in Paris, as well as the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) for funding our research projects MERGE and PaFaTherm II. We look forward to the continuation of the scientific and technical cooperation, building on the commissions discussed at the JEC 2015, and also to a reunion at the JEC 2016.

Weitere Einträge zu: JECParisTrade Fair
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