Teufelberger and BASF bestowed with JEC World Innovation Award

The joint project of KTM Technologies, H2K Minerals, TEUFELBERGER and BASF wins JEC World Innovation Award. Technology demonstrator for hollow components combines the latest processing techniques and materials for large-scale production process

This year’s winner in the RTM category at the JEC World Innovation Awards shows how complex hollow parts can be mass-produced in an automated processBASF-JEC-Award-Cavus_Elastolit at competitive prices. The joint project of KTM Technologies, H2K Minerals, Teufelberger and BASF takes an integrative view of the process chain – from core formation and the manufacturing of the preform with braided carbon fibers, via the HP-RTM process (high pressure resin transfer moulding) using reactive polyurethane resin to the dissolving of the core material. The project called “Cavus” implemented a geometrically complex hollow part with undercuts by producing a mountain bike handlebar. The technology demonstrator combines the latest processing technologies with mature materials in a procedure that can be applied for the mass production of competitive lightweight parts in the automotive and other industries.                                             

The project was initiated by KTM Technologies, which is responsible for project lead, part development, mould construction and the manufacturing of the parts. H2K Minerals developed and produced the materials for the HP-RTM compatible cores. The braided preform was developed, optimized and manufactured by the composite part producer Teufelberger. Process simulation and the PU system used are from BASF.

Integrated construction: from the sand core to the hollow component ready for serial production

The starting point for the component is a specially developed pressure and temperature resistant core. It consists of sand as well as water-soluble additives and can be formed into many different geometries. Preforming is accomplished in a fully automated carbon fibre braiding process. With the braiding technology complex geometries can be realized at high material throughput. Because of the good drapability the preform thus produced already has the final contour of the finished component.

The subsequent HP-RTM process is distinguished by short injection times and a highly reactive, compact polyurethane resin system from BASF, which drastically reduces the cycle time to two to three minutes. Due to the high internal mold pressure the carbon fibres can be fully wetted, complex component geometries can be produced with high fibre volume contents. The fast-hardening Elastolit® R 8819 PU matrix system for continuous fibre composite parts shows outstanding mechanical qualities, including excellent continuous loading, impact strength and high damage tolerance. The BASF simulation tool Ultrasim® helped to find the optimal process management and to reduce the mechanical loading of the core during injection.

At the end of the process, the core material is dissolved with water, a method which is also possible with small component cavities. Depending on the core manufacturing method, up to 98 % of the core material can be reused for subsequent production.

Lightweight construction – from the challenge to the solution

Hollow components have a huge potential for lightweight construction. The greatest challenge are complex geometries with variable diameters and undercuts. The high proportion of manual production steps that is still required, together with the necessary subsequent processing work and long cycle times, lead to high unit costs. “Until now, traditional technologies have only been able to implement ambitious designs in a limited way or at high costs for serial production,” says Hans Lochner, head of technology development and prototyping at KTM Technologies. “Our unique “Cavus” project solves this problem with an innovative, rapid and reliable process which can revolutionize the mass production of complex hollow parts in unit numbers of more than 10,000. The combination of lightweight composite construction and reasonable costs has become tangible. Close collaboration between the companies involved, their know-how and their love of innovation made a decisive contribution to this success.”

Melodea Wins Nanotechnology Innovation of the Year Award at NanoIsrael 2016

Melodea Ltd., a leader in development of nano-crystalline cellulose based products, announced on March 7, 2016 that it has won the Nanotechnology Innovation of the Year Award at the NanoIsrael 2016 conference

Melodea developed a proprietary technology for the economically viable industrial-scale extraction of nano crystalline cellulose (NCC) from side streams of the paper industry and wood pulp. In addition, the Company develops unique technologies for producing NCC based materials such as high oxygen barrier films for packaging, additives for packaging materials, water-based adhesives, paints and ecologically-friendly foams for composites, transportation and construction.

NCC generates much excitement due to its unique properties, and is considered the new high-tech material of the forest industry. It bears a huge promise as a green and safe alternative to fossil oil based materials. NCC is abundant, renewable and produced from waste of the paper industry. In Europe alone, eleven million tons of paper production waste is produced annually.

Future uses of NCC are expected to include production of high-performance reinforcing materials, biodegradable plastic bags and textiles; electrically conductive paper; new drug-delivery technologies; transparent flexible displays and even as part of the food industry.

NanoMelodea was founded by Professor Oded Shoseyov and Dr. Shaul Lapidot both from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with Mr. Tord Gustafsson, a Swedish industrialist and expert in the composites industry, as a spin-off of Yissum, the technology transfer company of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Company has a strategic collaboration with Holmen, a leading Swedish manufacturer in the forest based sector, which is also one of its major shareholders. The launch of Europe’s first NCC pilot facility, located in Sweden and based on the Melodea’s technology, is expected by the end of 2016.

Dr. Shaul Lapidot, Co-founder & CEO, Melodea, stated, “We are honoured to be chosen by a panel of experts as the best nanotechnology innovation of the year. In the past year, we have made significant advancements in collaboration with our strategic partner, towards commercialization of our NCC based technology for production of novel eco-friendly materials.”

Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum, commented, “Melodea encompasses a winning combination of outstanding technology originating from the Hebrew University with a leading international industry partner. The company, founded and operating within the University, reflects the innovation and attractiveness of nanotechnologies originating from the Hebrew University.”

NCC is produced by processing wood pulp, and is considered the new, environmentally-friendly and sustainable option for a variety of materials, including plastic and metal. NCC is transparent, strong, cost-effective, and safer than non-organic alternatives.

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialised by Yissum currently generate  USD 2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered over 9325 patents covering 2600 inventions; has licensed out 880 technologies and has spun out 110 companies including Mobileye, BriefCam, CollPlant and Qlight Nanotech. Yissum’s business partners span the globe and include companies such as Syngenta, Monsanto, Roche, Novartis, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel, Teva and many more.

Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) is an emerging renewable nanomaterial that holds promise in many different applications, such as in personal
care, chemicals, foods, pharmaceuticals, etc. By appropriate modification of NCC, various functional nanomaterials with outstanding properties
or significantly improved physical, chemical, biological, as well as electronic properties can be developed. The nanoparticles are stabilised in
aqueous suspension by negative charges on the surface, which are produced during the acid hydrolysis process. NCC suspensions can form a
chiral nematic ordered phase beyond a critical concentration, i.e. NCC suspensions transform from an isotropic to an anisotropic chiral nematic
liquid crystalline phase. Due to its nanoscale dimension and intrinsic physicochemical properties, NCC is a promising renewable biomaterial that
can be used as a reinforcing component in high performance nanocomposites. Many new nanocomposite materials with attractive properties were
obtained by the physical incorporation of NCC into a natural or synthetic polymeric matrix. Simple chemical modification on NCC surface can
improve its dispersability in different solvents and expand its utilisation in nano-related applications, such as drug delivery, protein immobili
sation, and inorganic reaction template.


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