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On a visit to the Ministry’s Federal Metal Research and Testing Establishment (BAM) in Berlin, Dr. Philipp Roesler, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, was able to be convinced of the performance of the Saertex non-crimp fabrics.
He walked across a model bridge that literally has it inside. This was jointly developed by the Institute for Structural Engineering and Construction Design (ITKE) of the University of Stuttgart, the Federal Metal Research and Testing Establishment, Berlin, the Institute for Textile and Process Technology, Denkendorf, Roechling Engineering Plastics KG, Haren, Fiberware GmbH, Mittweida, and Saertex. The miniature bridge, consisting entirely of Saertex non-crimp fabrics, was designed as a prototype for demonstrating the possible applications of glassfiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) in bridge construction. The highlight: optical sensors, already integrated in the non-crimp fabric at its production stage, monitor the quality of the structural component over its entire service life and can measure the mechanical stresses and thus provide reliable data about the condition and the required repair intervals of the composite structural component. The sensors are only a few micrometers in size and can be coupled to any position on the structural component to be measured. The project was supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology using the ZIM Co-operation Promotion Module.