Self-repairing membrane for pneumatic structures
Self-repairing like a Liana
A research team headed by Dr. Olga Speck at the “Biomimetics Competence Network” of the University of Freiburg, Germany, has succeeded in producing a self-repairing membrane for pneumatic structures on a laboratory scale. First investigations with a semi-rigid molded polyurethane foam named Raku-PUR (manufacturer: Rampf Giessharze GmbH & Co. KG in Grafenberg, Germany) showed that the wound-healing properties of lianas can be transferred to the foam. A self-repairing coating on plastic membranes in pneumatic systems prevents them reacting with an immediate drop in pressure in case of a puncture. For example, tests have already been conducted with nails up 5 mm in diameter.
Hereby, the pressure drop rate could be reduced by two to three orders of magnitude when compared with uncoated membranes. Dr. Speck presented her work at the experts’ symposium “Innovative Sealing Technologies” organized by Rampf at the end of March. In the next step, the implementation in an automated dosing cell (DC-CNC) will be tested by Rampf Dosiertechnik GmbH & Co. KG, also in Grafenberg.
Rampf Gießharze GmbH & Co. KG
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