Innovative Materials edition 5 2019

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Volume 5 2019


CONTENT Innovatieve Materialen About is een vaktijdschrift gericht op de civieltechnische Innovatieve Materialen sector en bouw. Het bericht over ontwik(Innovative Materials) is a digital, kelingen op het gebied van duurzame, inindependent magazine novatieve materialen en/of deabout toepassing material the fields of daarvaninnovation in bijzondereinconstructies.

engineering, construction (buildings, infrastructure and industrial) and Innovatieveindustrial Materialendesign. is een uitgave van Civiele Techniek, onafhankelijk vaktijdschrift voor civieltechnisch ingenieurs werkzaam in de grond-, weg- en waterA digital subscribtion in 2019 bouw en verkeerstechniek.

(6 editions) costs € 39,50 (excl. VAT) Members of KIVI and students: De redactie staat open voor bijdragen € 25,- U(excl. van vakgenoten. kunt VAT) daartoe contact opnemen met de redactie.

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Advertizing & sponsoring Drs. Petra Schoonebeek Redactie: Bureau Schoonebeek vof

Hoofdredactie: Innovative Materials Gerard van Nifterik platform:

Dr. ir. Fred Veer, prof. Ir. Rob Nijsse (Glass &Advertenties Transparency Research Group, TU Delft), Drs. Petra Schoonebeek dr. Bert van Haastrecht (M2I), Wim Poelman, dr. Ton e-mail: Hurkmans (MaterialDesign), Jos Brouwers, Een digitaal abonnement in 2016 (Department of the Built (6 uitgaven) kostSection € 25,00 (excl. BTW) Environment, Building Physics and Services TU Eindhoven), Jilt Sietsma, (4TU.HTM/ Zie ook: Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3mE), prof.dr. Pimuitgave Groen,mag (SMART Niets uit deze worden Materials Aerospace Engineering verveelvuldigd en of openbaar worden TUvan Delft/Holst Centre, midoor(AE) middel herdruk, fotokopie, crofilm of opKris welke wijze(Flam3D), dan ook, zonder TNO), Binon voorafgaande schriftelijke toestemming Guido Verhoeven (Bond voor van de uitgever. Materialenkennis/SIM Flanders, Prof. dr. ir. Christian Louter Institut für Baukonstruktion Technische Universität Dresden).

4 ‘Concrete choreography’

In collaboration with the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland, a team at ETH Zürich created nine individually designed concrete columns, for a project called Concrete Choreography. Each 2.7 m tall column is concrete 3D printed at full height in 2.5 hours

8 Drywall waste blocks

A Washington State University team has developed a new building system made from low-value construction waste that they hope can reduce waste while creating affordable housing.

16 Climate-active Brick Facades

Building envelopes and their materials have a major impact on the microclimate of cities. The overheating of urban areas, the so-called ‘urban heat island’ effect is a major problem in many countries, which will become more relevant in the context of climate change and densification of existing cities. Therefore, in the future, architects will increasingly have to pay attention to the heat storage capacity of the materials and their thermally reflecting properties in their choice of materials.

20 Living electrical wires

A team of Belgian universities and TU Delft demonstrated that certain bacteria conduct an extremely high electrical current in a conductive fiber network that operates in comparable way to the copper wiring that we use to transport electricity. The highly conductive fibers enable a completely new interface between biology and electronics, providing a prospect for new materials and technology.

22 Concrete in the 21st century

With the patents on Portland cement in 1824 and reinforced concrete in 1868, one of the most commonly used structural building materials was created. Due to various recent developments, reinforced concrete is now coming under pressure in (civil) construction. But concrete will continue to be a leading building material in the 21st century thanks to innovations that make concrete future-proof.

26 First lightweight, FRP 3D printed bridge

Royal HaskoningDHV, CEAD and DSM have designed the first lightweight 3D printed FRP pedestrian bridge prototype using a composite material. It consists of a glass filled thermoplastic PET (Arnite) and is combined with continuous glass fibres which are added in the 3D printing process. This unique combination offers high strength with extreme versatility and sustainability.

30 Smart Materials (part 5) Piezoelectric actuators: benders and stacks

Smart materials are everywhere, but often invisible or simply not recognized. This is the fith article in a series of eight, in which prof. Pim Groen will discuss the world of smart materials; this time Piezoelectric actuators; benders and stacks. Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress and vice versa. Pim Groen is professor of SMART Materials at Aerospace Engineering (AE) at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Programme Manager of Holst Centre, TNO.

36 Enterprise Europe Network: New requests for partnership

Cover: Concrete choreography. Photo: Angela Yoo, Digital Building Technologies, ETH Zürich, page 4



Photo: ZJA

Lightrail station The Hague awarded with European Steel Design Merit Award 2019 The lightrail station The Hague, a design by ZJA, has won the prestigious European Steel Design Merit Award 2019. The award is presented every two years by the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS) to projects where steel has been applied in an inspiring way. The lightrail station is characterized by a slender roof of glass and steel above the platforms. A covered walkway in the form of an expressive steel canopy forms the connection between the lightrail station and the main hall of The Hague Central station.

With the design of the slender lightrail station, the city of The Hague has been given a recognizable and iconic station that stands out in the urban context. With the new lightrail station, the former back of The Hague Central station has been transformed into an attractive entrance to the city of The Hague that welcomes travellers. Moreover, it is a well-arranged station where travellers can easily find their way. The construction of the lightrail station was managed by ProRail, commissioned by the municipality of The Hague, with

contractor BAM Infra NL building the new station. Structural Engineers: BAM Infraconsult, Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Royal HaskoningDHV, Ney & Partners. Building contractor: BAM Infra NL. Subcontractor bridge structure: Smulders. Subcontractor roof structure: Jos van den Bersselaar constructie, Kersten Europe Subcontractor glass: Brakel Atmos. More at ZJA>



Indoor algae farm and thus deliver consumable biomass. In addition, the Coral highlights the environmental benefits of algae through its coral pattern on the front. The cells change colour from transparent to shades of green as the algae grow. According to An’s website this symbolises the revitalisation of coral from ‘coral bleaching’, a worldwide phenomenon caused by climate change.

Last summer MaterialDistrict payed attention to the work of Korean Designer Hyunseok An who developed a wall-mounted bioreactor system called The Coral, to grow your own algae for consumption. Algae are believed to play a critical role in the sustainability of human life and our ecosystem. They are some of the most efficient CO2 scrubbers in the air, with ten times greater CO2 fixation than terrestrial plants. Moreover, they can be eaten. The 1974 UN World Food Conference deemed algae ‘the most ideal food for mankind.’ Additionally, the plants have many beneficial nutrients for humans, so much so that NASA uses algae as dietary supplements on future long term space missions. Furthermore, algae are also a promising raw material for the development of materials. The system is a wall-mounted bioreactor, consisting of individual square culture cells. Each cell in a four-by-four grid wall


frame contains around two grams of algae when it turns dark green, the recommended daily amount. The algae grow from the carbon dioxide in the house


HĂŠt expertisecentrum voor materiaalkarakterisering. Integer, onafhankelijk, objectief onderzoek en advies. ISO 17025 geaccrediteerd. Wij helpen u graag verder met onderzoek en analyse van uw innovatieve materialen. Bel ons op 026 3845600 of mail

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09-05-17 13:19

International edition Innovative Materials, the international version of the Dutch magazine Innovatieve Materialen, is now available in English. Innovative Materials is a digital, independent magazine about material innovation in the fields of engineering, construction (buildings, infrastructure and industrial) and industrial design. Innovative Materials is published in a digital format, although there is a printed edition with a small circulation. Digital, because interactive information is attached in the form of articles, papers, videos and links to expand the information available. www.



‘Concrete choreography’ From ancient civilisations to the present day, columns have served as elements of architecture particularly tied to the harmony, balance and proportion of architectural orders - so much so that they have come to be recognised as works of art in their own right. In collaboration with the Origen Festival in Riom, Switzerland1, a team at ETH Zürich created nine individually designed concrete columns, for a project called Concrete Choreography. Each 2.7 m tall column is concrete 3D printed at full height in 2.5 hours with a process developed at ETH Zurich, with the support of NCCR DFAB (National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication). Students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Digital Fabrication and Architecture explore the unique possibilities of layered extrusion printing, demonstrating



Axel Crettenand, Digital Building Technologies, ETH ZĂźrich

the potential of computational design and digital fabrication for future concrete construction. This novel fabrication process is based on a large robotic arm extrusion systems, and allows the production of concrete elements without the need for any formwork. The same technique was used for many parts of the DFAB House project (Innovative Materials 4, 2017). In addition, one-of-a-kind designs with complex geometries can be fabricated in a fully automated manner. Hollow concrete structures are printed in a way where the material can be strategically used only where needed, allowing a more sustainable approach to concrete architecture. The Origen Festival Cultural is a cultural annex music and dance festival that has been taking place annually since 2006 in Riom in Oberhalbstei, Switzerland. It is one of the largest cultural events in the Canton of GraubĂźnden.


More at>


Photo: Angela Yoo, Digital Building Technologies



First tiny house of biocomposite On 20 September, the first tiny house made from 100 percent biocomposite was officially presented in Emmen, The Netherlands. Tiny houses have been in the spotlight for some time because they contribute to less CO2 emissions. They less building material than ordinary houses. They nowadays often consist of traditional building materials that make a negative contribution to combating climate change and global CO2 emissions. The project aims to demonstrate that biocomposites are not only suitable for insulation materials, cover profiles and plates, but also that they are suitable for supporting loadbearing panels and frames and skeletal constructions that meet Dutch and German construction and safety standards. A collaboration between knowledge institutions and industry has been working for the past two years on development of new techniques to build the tiny house in Emmen from biobased materials, especially used in wall panels, roof coverings and window frames.

Project partners: NHL Stenden University, Drenthe College, the Hondsrug College, the German Fiber Institute Bremen and the companies Kuipers & Koersbouw/Bioframe, Millvision, KIEM, Hempflax, FIBY, Domesta and the German company Naftex

The project was implemented within the Green PAC initiative and was realized in the context of the now completed German-Dutch INTERREG VA project Bio-economy in the non-food sector. The project was supported by funds from the European Union, the state of Lower Saxony, seven Dutch provinces and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate.


London-based designers Rowan Minkley and Robert Nicoll as well as research scientist Greg Cooper have developed Chip[s|Board, which is a biodegradable material, made from non-food-grade industrial potato waste. Working across a range of design and fabrication projects, the founders were both triggered by the lack of value given to materials and the sheer disposability they have after such short lifespans. Inspired to find a new solution they sought to develop a new material that if treated in the same disposable manner wouldn’t have the enormous environmental impact currently generated by material disposal. Chip[s]board makes bio-plastics and bio-plastic composites. These both come under the product name Parblex. Parblex Plastics are translucent, pure or fibre reinforced bioplastics for multiple industries within fashion and interior design. The material is compatible with injection moulding, 3D printing, milling and other industrial processing techniques.>



The TU/e spin-off Ioniqa developed way to endlessly recycle plastic

Dutch Cabinet appoints TU/e spin-off Ioniqa as National Icon TU/e spin-off Ioniqa is rewarded with the Dutch National Icon Award 2019. The prize is intended for Dutch innovations that both solve global problems and contribute to the Dutch economy. In addition to Ioniqa, the TU/e spin-off that devised a way to endlessly recycle plastic, the Cabinet also appointed Inreda Diabetic (artificial pancreas) and Hiber (satellite network HiberBand) as National Icons. On September 24 the three winners were announced by State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in the TV program De Wereld Draait Door. Ioniqa Technologies specializes in creating value from PET waste and uses its own circular technology. This technology can infinitely cycle up to 25 percent of global plastic production. This is also done in an energy-efficient way, with a

CO2 footprint that is 75 percent lower than with PET from oil. The process is not dependent on the highly fluctuating oil prices; prices are therefore relatively low and stable. Ioniqa cooperates with PET producers Indorama, Coca Cola and Unilever. In 2025, Unilever only wants to use reusable plastic packaging. The product offers the Netherlands the opportunity to develop a broader leadership position in PET recycling. There are also opportunities to improve the (European) plastic waste separation process. For example via a hub in the port of Rotterdam with the Netherlands as a circular transit country. The technology can be expanded to textile recycling. The Cabinet will help the three National Icons in the coming three years to realize their ambitions. Ioniqa, for example, will receive State Secretary Stientje van

Veldhoven as ambassador. This provides access to a large network at home and abroad, helps in finding financing and new partners and provides support from the government. More TU/e>




Drywall waste blocks A Washington State University team has developed a new building system made from low-value construction waste that they hope can reduce waste while creating affordable housing. Building construction and demolition waste is a growing problem worldwide. In the United States contractors disposed 534 million tons of waste in 2014, a tripling since 2003. Meanwhile the year production of drywall is still increasing with 3 percent in the USA and even 17 percent in China. While there have been increasing efforts to recycle many construction materials, low-value drywall makes up nearly half of unrecycled construction waste. Furthermore, when it’s put into landfills, soil bacteria decompose the gypsum and produce a noxious gas. In 2017 the Washington State University lead by team professor Taiji Miyasaka and adjunct professor and fabrication labs manager David Drake, began developing so-called drywall waste blocks (DWB). The blocks are made from 80 percent drywall waste and a binder made from industrial byproducts. Manufacturing a drywall waste block (DWB) entails the shredding of drywall scrap,


acceptable straight from construction or demolition sites; the addition of water and cement; and compaction of the mixture into standard molds at high

pres­sure. Even the paper facer of the drywall can go right into the mix, increasing the blocks’ strength and insulation value, and saving on processing costs.

Productionproces in short. Credits: Taiji Miyasaka, David Drake, and Zaky Ramadhan; via

NEWS They are waterproof and lighter than earth blocks, bricks or concrete blocks and are quite similar to adobe or compress earth blocks. Last summer, a prototype structure featuring the drywall-based bricks was displayed as part of the ‘Make/Do: A History of Creative Reuse’ exhibit at the Washington State History Museum. In the next year, the researchers will be testing the blocks to meet building, seismic and fire codes.

Testsamples. Credits: Taiji Miyasaka, David Drake, and Zaky Ramadhan; via

Drywall waste blocks won the Architect Magazine’s 2019 R+D Awards. More at Washington State University> Contact: Taiji Miyasaka, professor, School of Design and Construction,

Project: Drywall Waste Block Project Team: Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. Taiji Miyasaka, David Drake (principal investigators); Fadil Zaky Ramadhan, Ping Fai Sze (re­ search assistants) Funding: AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant, Amazon Catalyst Grant, National Science Foundation I-Corps, Commercialization Gap Fund Special thanks: Washington State University. Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture tech shops; Composite Materials and Engineering Center

Select key words and find relevant materials scientists or research groups within 4TU.

High-Tech Materials form the key to innovative and sustainable technology @4TU_HTM

4TU.HTM Research Programme New Horizons in Designer Materials | Visibility and accessibility of Materials Science & Engineering | 9 | INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 Annual symposium Dutch Materials | 4TU.Joint Materials Science Activities | web application


Kaumera factory, Zwolle

Kaumera: Raw material from wastewater On 2 October 2019, a Dutch partnership of water boards, science and industry presented a new raw material extracted from wastewater: Kaumera Nereda Gum. This raw material is a sustainable alternative to chemical raw materials and can be used as a smart coating for seeds and granular fertilizer, as a glue and binder and in many other ways. There will be two raw materials plants in the Netherlands and they will be the first in the world to produce Kaumera. The first is opened in Zutphen on 2 October; the second will be build in Epe in 2020. According to the parties involved, this innovation results in 20 - 35 percent less sludge waste, less CO2 emission and energy savings of 30 - 80 percent. In this way, the cooperating organizations contribute to a sustainable society with less waste. The recovery of Kaumera from wastewater takes place within the National Alginate Development Programme NAOP. In this programme, the Vallei and Veluwe Water Authority, Rhine and IJssel Water


Nereda is a sustainable purification technology in which the purifying, active sludge does not form flakes, but granules. This granulate contains a relatively high percentage of Kaumera (NEO alginate) which is a valuable replacement for many fossil chemicals in many sectors, such as the paper industry, agriculture and concrete industry

NEWS Authority, the Dutch Foundation for Applied Research in Water Management (STOWA), the Royal HaskoningDHV engineering consultancy and Delft University of Technology work closely together. All parties contribute part of the knowledge and expertise needed to recover, process and market the new raw material. From laboratory research to full scale recovery. In this way, the Water Authority, the scientific community and the business community work together on a sustainable, circular economy. By combining Kaumera Nereda Gum with another raw material, the character of the substance changes. Kaumera is an amplifier and connector of properties. For example as part of lightweight biocomposites. This ensures that the application possibilities are practically endless. Kaumera can retain water but also repel it. This makes various applications possible, for example in agriculture, horticulture and the concrete industry. These include reducing the leaching of fertilisers in agriculture. As a result, crops absorb fertilisers better. The water-repellent properties also make Kaumera an excellent coating for concrete floors.


Nereda is a sustainable purification technology in which the purifying, active sludge does not form flakes, but granules. This makes the sludge settle much faster and easier. The technology has a high purification efficiency, takes up little

Kaumera Gum

space (no large settling tanks needed) and consumes relatively little energy. The Nereda technology is discovered by TU Delft. This technology was developed in collaboration with, among others, the water authorities and STOWA and is currently being marketed worldwide by Royal HaskoningDHV.

The designers and Water Authorities, working together in the Energy and Raw Materials Factory (EFGF), want to draw attention to the importance of a world with as little waste as possible and as many recyclable raw materials as possible.



In 2018, three young designers developed applications for Kaumera in porcelain, textiles and wood processing. The results were shown during the Dutch Design Week 2018.

Nereda bij Royal HaskoningDHV>

MUDERNISM, a project by designer Billie van Katwijk, with the use of Kaumera, was exhibited during Dutch Design Week 2018



Innovative materials with carbon fibres made from algae

Photo: mediaTUM, Technische Universität München

Algae could play an important role in the development of building materials with a low CO2 footprint. Theoretical calculations show: if the carbon fibres are produced from algae oil, production of the innovative materials extracts more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it sets free. In combination with granite or other types of hard rock, carbon fibres make possible all-new construction and building materials. A research project spearheaded by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is to further advance these technologies. The development of the various processes is accompanied by technological, economical and sustainability analyses. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) has dedicated funds amounting to around 6.5 million Euro to fund the research at TU Munich. Due to their fast growth, microalgae like those cultivated in the globally unrivalled technical algae centre at TUM’s Ludwig Bölkow Campus south of Munich can actively store the greenhouse gas


CO2 in form of biomass. CO2 is mainly bound in sugars and algae oil. These can be used in chemical and biotechnological processes to produce precursors for a variety of industrial processes. For example, oil-forming yeasts produce yeast oil from the algae sugars, which is a feedstock for sustainable plastics. Furthermore, enzymes can split the yeast oil into glycerine and free fatty acids. The free fatty acids are precursors for products like high-quality additives for lubricants, among others; the glycerine can be turned into carbon fibres. In the further course of the project, the plastics will be combined with the carbon fibres to produce corresponding composite materials. Furthermore, carbon fibres and hard rock can be used in a process of the industrial partner TechnoCarbon Technologies to produce novel construction materials. Not only do they have a negative CO2 balance, they are also lighter than aluminium and stronger than steel. More at TUM>

E-scooter with a step made from a composite material integrating granite and carbon fibers from algae (Image: A. Battenberg / TUM)


Growing Design: Mushroom pavilion During the Dutch Design Week (DDW, from 19 - 27 October in Eindhoven) eight design trends were presented, which, according to the organization, indicate the most important developments in the world of design, like ‘living natural materials.’ Designers are finding all sorts of creative ways to use biobased materials for a large variety of projects. Biowaste like pine needles and coffee grounds are converted into other raw materials, but use is also made of living materials. And so ‘Growing Design’ was one of the trends that the DDW was brought into the limelight. One of the exposed living design items was the DDW pavilion on Ketelhuisplein, this year realized by New Heroes from Amsterdam. They developed the so-caled ‘Growing Pavilion’ based on organic material as the building material of the future: the. The structure is entirely made of organic material, with an important role for growing mycelium. Mycelium is the network of all threads of a fungus/mushroom. After the fungus itself has been made inactive, a fine-

meshed network remains. The application of this mycelium material has many possibilities. It is light but also strong and suitable for use as a building material.

Design: Pascal Leboucq in collaboration with Concept: Pascal Leboucq - Lucas De Man - Company New Heroes.

More about the ‘Growing Pavilion’ at DDW>

Much more about the Dutch Design Week 2020 in the next edition of Innovative Materials.

The Growing Pavilion is a project of Company New Heroes and Dutch Design Foundation. The team of The Growing Pavilion: Pascal Leboucq, Diana van Bokhoven, Emiel Rietvelt, Lucas De Man, Jasper van den Berg, Amber Bloos, Dona Popovici, Naomi Jansen, Anne Caesar van Wieren, Bente Konings, Wouter Goedheer, Bas van Rijnsoever, Isil Vos, Jip Verwiel. The Growing Pavilion is built by Fiction Factory, Tentech and Buitink Technology. In collaboration with Primum, Huis Veendam, ECO-board,, Braindrop, Impershield, Houthandel Looijmans, TenCate Outdoor Fabrics, Juro Coating, Botanic Bites, Sounding Bodies, BioBased Delta, Centre of Expertise Biobased Economy (CoEBBE), Natuurvezel Applicatie Centrum (NAC), Noorderwind.



Electrolyzer-based process for decarbonating CaCO3, without emissions MIT researchers say to have found a way to eliminate carbon emissions from cement production - a major global source of greenhouse gases. The production of cement is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about 8 percent of all such releases. Ordinary Portland cement, the most widely used standard variety, is made by grinding up limestone and then cooking it with sand and clay at high heat, which is produced by burning coal. The process produces carbon dioxide in two different ways: from the burning of the coal, and from gases released from the limestone during the heating. The new process would eliminate or drastically reduce both sources. First of all, the new approach could eliminate the use of fossil fuels for the heating process, substituting electricity generated from clean, renewable sources. The new process centers on the use of an electrolyzer. In the new process, the pulverized limestone is dissolved in the acid at one electrode and high-purity carbon dioxide is released, while calcium hydroxide, generally known as lime, precipitates out as a solid at the other. The calcium hydroxide can then be processed in another step to produce the cement, which is mostly calcium silicate. The carbon dioxide, in the form of a pure, concentrated stream, can then be easily sequestered, harnessed to produce value-added products such as a liquid fuel. The findings are being reported in the journal PNAS in a paper by Yet-Ming Chiang, the Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, with postdoc Leah Ellis, graduate student Andres Badel, and others. The article ‘Toward electrochemical synthesis of cement - An electrolyzer-based process for decarbonating CaCO3 while producing useful gas streams’ is online> More at MIT>

In a demonstration of the basic chemical reactions used in the new process, electrolysis takes place in neutral water. Dyes show how acid (pink) and base (purple) are produced at the positive and negative electrodes. A variation of this process can be used to convert calcium carbonate (CaCO3) into calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), which can then be used to make Portland cement without producing any greenhouse gas emissions. Credits: MIT



‘Shaping transparent sand in sand’ Resercher Ivneet Singh (TU Delft Architecture and the Built Environment) has been working on a new way of producing glass to make complete transparent structures in large-scale public spaces. July 2019 he published his master thesis at the TU Delft titled ‘Shaping transparent sand in sand; Fabricating topologically optimized cast glass column using sand moulds. He was able to reduce production time for creating a thick glass column to just a few days, by using modern techniques like computational tools and 3D printed sand for casting moulds. His project not only reduces the energy uses and carbon footprint of the production technique. It also contributes to revolutionising the way we think about glass as a building material. Ivneet works on this project within the Building Technology track of the Architecture, Urbanism and Buidling Sciences Master of Science, with tutors Faidra Oikonomopoulou and Serdar Asut. Conventionally, glass, in architectural industry, has been used in form of sheets (float glass) due to ease of fabrication of planar sheets, but in last few years, cast glass bricks have been used for creating structural wall/envelope of few architectural projects namely, Atocha memorial (Spain), Optical house (Japan) and Crystal house (Amsterdam) due to its high compressive strength. Cast glass offers many advantages over float glass, but, the reason for limited use of it, in the industry is due to annealing time. The thicker the section of glass, the more time is required to anneal the element. To reduce this annealing

time, one of the most promising solutions is to use an optimised geometry composed of thinner sections. These optimised geometries usually are based on stress and buckling load of the element; hence they have very dynamic geometry. In order to fabricate these optimised geometries, one has to take help from digital manufacturing tools involving additive manufacturing (3D printing). 3D printing of glass is still in primitive stage and is currently used for creating artefacts rather than structural elements. Another alternative to fabricate these complex geometries is to print the moulds and then cast glass. 3D printed sand moulds are being used in the industry to cast optimised concrete slabs and steel nodes. Hence this research explores the feasibility of 3D printed sand moulds for casting optimised structural glass geometries. A column design as a case has been taken, for the experiment as glass having high compressive strength, comparable to steel, portrays as a perfect material for a compression only structure. The full text article ‘Shaping transparent sand in sand,’ is online>



Climate-active Brick Facades Building envelopes and their materials have a major impact on the microclimate of cities. The overheating of urban areas, the so-called ‘urban heat island’ effect is a major problem in many countries, which will become more relevant in the context of climate change and densification of existing cities. Studies1 show that brick facades with low reflectivity can reduce the extreme heat load on pedestrians by 26 percent during the day compared to heavily insulated casings. Another study2 examines the effects of a watered brick wall, and the results show that the surface temperature of the wall is 5 °C lower than the ambient temperature over the time of day. Therefore, in the future, architects will increasingly have to pay attention to the heat storage capacity of the materials and their thermally reflecting properties in their choice of materials. Around 30 percent of the world’s population live in brick buildings, and according to forecasts this percentage is set to continue to rise. Bricks as masonry material have offered many advantages for centuries. The stones are robust and durable, water-resistant and have a high load-bearing capacity. Brick production is constantly being improved and the properties of ceramic bricks optimised. In recent years, this has increasingly affected their sound and thermal insulation properties. However, less research has so far been done into the climate-impacting aspects of brick materials and their potential to improve urban microclimates. With the Adaptive Brick research project of the TU Munich, headed by Philipp Molter, Associate Professor at the Chair of Design and Building Envelopes (Lehrstuhl für Entwerfen und Gebäudehülle), a research team is investigating the use of irrigated solid bricks as a component of climatically-effective facades that can counteract the phenomenon


of urban heat islands. This research is investigating the potentials of irrigated solid bricks as a component for climate adaptive facades able to enhance urban microclimate in urban canyons. The study shaped in two layers including field measurements and simulations. An experiment setup of façade panel is demonstrated to test different irrigation scenarios under varying environmental conditions and hours of the day to quantify surface temperatures and intensity of evaporative cooling effect. The results show that in average wet bricks can have 7 °C lower surface temperatures compared to dry ones. Also the colour of the bricks is influencing the temperature curve where the difference of 5.4 °C recorded between light and dark coloured ones. For instance, a red brick with holes exhibited the coolest temperatures, probably due to it having the lowest density, a high water absorption capacity and therefore also the strongest evaporation cooling.

After the initial series of tests, the scientists now assume that the brick properties of porosity, water absorption behaviour and colour in combination with the effect of evaporative cooling can be used specifically to lower the surface temperatures of buildings and can thus contribute to solving the problem of urban heat islands. They are currently working on a concrete irrigation system for integration into brick facades. Ata Chokhachian, Perini, Dong & Auer, 2017 2 He & Liu, 2012 1

More at TU München> More about climate active facades at TU Delft>

nce rgest confere The world’s la ic on the top and exhibition


pictures from left to right © Source: Coperion | nova-Institut | Flaxwood | Trilon | Sulapac | Bioblo Spielwaren | Coperion | Amorim

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Dominik Vogt Phone: +49(0)2233-48-1449

• Latest developments in construction and automotive


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MAKE IT MATTER MAKE IT MATTER is compiled in collaboration with MaterialDistrict ( In this section new, and/or interesting developments and innovative materials are highlighted.

Peanut Shell Board

Kokoboard Peanut Shell is a biocomposite board made of waste peanut shells. Peanut shells are turned into particle boards by a hot press procedure and the use of a formaldehyde-free adhesive. The product takes little energy to produce and reduces CO2 emissions by offering farmers an alternative to the usual burning of harvest waste. Peanut shell resists moisture and flame better than wood competitors and it can be used for floors, ceilings and walls, as well as furniture and other wood products. More at MaterialDistrict>

Acoustic peat panels

These acoustic peat panels are made of 85 percent shape-pressed surface peat and 15 percent recycled PET plastic, coloured using water-based paint. Surface peat, sourced in design company’s Innofusor’s home land Finland, is a tried and tested material with a centuries-old pedigree. When processed into an acoustic material, surface peat becomes a beautiful product with excellent acoustic properties. The material can be pressed into any shape. The company offers various designs with relief for on the wall, and light shades. More at MaterialDistrict>

Govaplast Govaplast is a type of plastic lumber, but containing no wood at all, as a replacement for wood and concrete. Tt’s made of 100 plastic recycled material (HDPE, LDPE and PP in a specific proportion). The material is turned into solid, high-quality recycled plastic profiles, such as poles, sheets, boards, beams, and decking and fencing systems. The plastic is extremely durable and strong, and can be used both for interior and outside uses. The boards can be recycled after use. More at MaterialDistrict>


MAKE IT MATTER Starpath The aggregate material in Starpath absorbs and stores energy from ambient light (UV rays) during the day, and releases this energy at night, making the particles glow. The material glows for up to 16 hours after a charge and the particles will last a minimum of 20 years. It charges in daylight but sunlight is better and up to 16 hours.

More at MaterialDistrict>

‘De Duurzame Tegel’ ‘De Duurzame Tegel’ (‘The Sustainable Tile’) is a sustainable paving tile made with the bottom ash left over after incinerating household waste. To make the bottom ash suitable to reuse, metals, such as iron, zinc, and copper, are removed. After that, the ash is cleaned, leaving granulate called FORZ, which is used to make the tiles. ‘De Duurzame Tegel’ was created by Dutch waste processing companies AVR and Mineralz (part of Renewi), and tile manufacturer De Hamer. More at MaterialDistrict>

Good Plastic Plate The Good Plastic Plate is a hand-made product made out of 100 percent recycled and recyclable plastic: it is a sustainable, eco-friendly and durable material with zero maintenance required. The plates have a standard size of 1x1 m and thickness ranging between 5 to 30 mm. As for the surface look, the Good Plastic has glossy, semi-glossy as well as matte surface finishing. The pattern of the panel can be tailored based on request. More at MaterialDistrict>

Flash-luminium Flash-luminium is an iridescent and reflective material on aluminum. It is a shapable colourless black material. With a flash, it turns like an amazing rainbow.

More at MaterialDistrict>



Living electrical wires A team of Belgian universities and TU Delft demonstrated that certain bacteria conduct an extremely high electrical current in a conductive fiber network that operates in comparable way to the copper wiring that we use to transport electricity. The highly conductive fibers enable a completely new interface between biology and electronics, providing a prospect for new materials and technology. Scientists from the University of Antwerp, the Technical University of Delft and the University of Hasselt have discovered bacteria that live on the seabed and have a conductive fibre network that can be compared are satisfied the copper number labels used to transport electricity. Those strongly conductive fibers could lead to revolutionary new materials and technologies. Their findings were recently published in Nature Communications, titled ‘A highly conductive fibre network enables centimetre-scale electron transport in multicellular cable bacteria.’

Cable bacteria

Cable bacteria are centimeter-long micro-organisms that consist of thousands


RESEARCH cells in a row. Detailed investigations showed that electrical currents must be running through the seafloor, and all data suggested that the cable bacteria were generating and conducting these currents. The multi-disciplinary team of biologists, chemists and physicists invented a procedure to extract a single bacterial filament out of the seafloor and attached this thin filament (50 times thinner than a human hair) to a custom-made setup with tiny electrodes. The results were baffling. The scientists found that there was a large current going through this thin cable bacterium.

Bacterial powerlines

Advanced microscopy revealed that the cell wall of the cable bacteria contains a parallel network of fibers which run along the whole length of the bacteria. The scientists managed to remove cell material in a sequential fashion, and eventually only the fibre structure was left behind. When this was put onto the electrode set-up, the researchers saw high currents, demonstrating that the fibre network in the cell wall is actually the conductive structure. However, the surprise was not over yet. The electrical measurements revealed that the fibres sustained an extremely high electric current per unit of cross-sectional area, which readily compares to the current density that passes in the copper wiring of our household appliances. Even more exciting, the conductivity of the fibres is unusually high, with values exceeding 20 S cm-1. For reference, this conductivity rivals that of

the state-of-the-art conductive polymer materials used in flexible solar panels or foldable phones.

Bacterial smartphones

According to the researchers, the discovery of the highly conductive fibers in cable bacteria is remarkable, as all known biological materials (like proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids) are extremely poor in terms of electrical conduction. The conductive fibers therefore provide a tremendous opportunity for new functional materials and technology, as the prospect of a bio-based material with exceptional electrical properties could push material science and electronics far beyond its current limits. The use of bio-materials in electronic engineering is an active field of research, for example, to achieve biodegradable electronics, which could reduce the problem of e-waste and allow greener consumer electronics, or they could be applied in health care, where implantable diagnostic and therapeutic devices could function during a certain time frame and then disappear via resorption by the body. This could, for example, lead to the development of medical implants from smartphones with tiny conductive tissues of borrowed cable bacteria.

Credits: • Department of Biology, Univer-

sity of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium (team leader: Prof. Filip Meysman) Departments of Physics and Biology, University of Hasselt, Diepenbeek, Belgium (team leader: Prof. Jean Manca) Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium (team leader: Prof. Karolien De Wael) Departments of Biotechnology, Bionanoscience and Quantum Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Nederland (team leader: Prof. Herre van der Zant) The research was conducted with support of Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), and the European Research Council (ERC).

More at TU Delft> The full text article is online>




Innovations make concrete future-proof

Concrete in the 21st century Leaking shrinkage cracks in a concrete wall

With the patents on Portland cement in 1824 and reinforced concrete in 1868, one of the most commonly used structural building materials was created. Due to various recent developments, reinforced concrete is now coming under pressure in (civil) construction. But concrete will continue to be a leading building material in the 21st century thanks to innovations that make concrete future-proof.

Traditional concrete with ribbed reinforcement appears not to meet all requirements in various applications. The corrosion reinforcement in the concrete limits the service life. Cracks in, for example, tunnels have a negative influence on water tightness. The (availability of) raw materials for concrete is also under discussion. Therefore the future use of concrete requires adjustments to designs, materials and realization. And this is happening already. These innovations, aimed at making concrete future-proof, are being developed or have already been applied:

• • • • • • • • •

Low-shrinkage concrete; crack reparing bacteria in concrete; fiber concrete; hybrid reinforced concrete; structural carbon reinforcement; reinforcement alternatives; alkaline activated/geopolymer concrete; recycled content; material savings through high-quality engineering.


Low-shrinkage concrete

The shrinking of concrete due to hardening and/or drying out is one of the main causes of cracking. Additives can be added to concrete that reduce or compensate the shrinking process. Despite the potential of these materials, their application in the Netherlands is zero. When composing concrete, shrinking reduction is often limited to the use of cement with low heat of hydration and the reduction of water and cement in the concrete mixture. Two types of additives are available for shrink-free concrete. These are so-called swellers (swelling agents or SA) and shrink reducing agents (SRA). Reducing or compensating shrinkage helps to limit or prevent cracking, making the structures more watertight and more durable. The chance of concrete reinforcement being affected is the greatest in case of cracks. A sweller (SA) is a substance that is added to concrete and swells in the har-

dening phase. The more swelling agent is added, the more swelling occurs. In principle, all hardening-shrinkage could be compensated and even pre-stress could be created to compensate, for example, dehydration or thermal shrinkage. SA is not an admixture, but is part of the curing process. However, more research is needed to definitively determine the effectiveness of swellers. More is known about the effect and effectiveness of shrink reducers (SRA). These compensate for up to 50 percent of the drying shrinkage by strengthening the pores from which the water evaporates so that they ‘sink’ less when drying out. For structures that can dry out, such as tunnels and parking basements, this could prevent or significantly reduce cracks. We are looking for projects where tests can be done. After a successful introduction of SRA and SA, consideration can be given in the future to combining both products to exclude shrinkage cracks in many cases.


Groninger Forum construction pit with steel fiber underwater concrete

Bacterial concrete

Bacteria have been developed at TU Delft to ensure that cracks in concrete repair themselves. When a crack occurs in the concrete, the bacteria ‘come to life’ and deposit material in the crack, which, as it were, clogs up. This is an active form of self-healing that occurs in specific circumstances even without bacteria, albeit to a lesser extent. Just as for SRA, bacterial concrete needs more testing in various projects to gain practical experience. But it can already be used in projects.

Fiber concrete

In the case of fiber concrete, initially the use of plastic fibers or steel fibers should be considered. In civil construction, micro (plastic) fibers are already used more often than steel fibers. However, there are also glass fibers, aramid or basalt fibers that may be of interest for specific applications. Micro (plastic) fibers can improve the cohesion of concrete for execution, prevent cracking due to shrinkage in the plastic (hardening)

phase and increase fire resistance. It is a misunderstanding that micro-plastic fibers cause a significant increase in tensile strength of hardened concrete. Steel fibers or less common glass/aramid/ basalt fibers are much more suitable for this. Steel fiber technology has developed strongly over the past decade. Steel fibers are now available that ensure that the concrete is stronger after cracking than before. Galvanized fibers and stainless steel fibers are also available that prevent rust spots on a concrete wall. Steel fibers are mainly used in underwater concrete in civil construction. For example with the Groninger Forum project. Another persistent misunderstanding is that steel fibers corrode in concrete because there is no concrete cover. Because the fibers only have a diameter of 1 mm, the concrete cannot be pressed away in case of corrosion, so that the fiber already pacifies itself within a few millimeters of cover. The use of steel fiber concrete in washing places, loading

bay floors and at pumping stations shows no continuous damage to the fiber concrete. However, rust stains can occur on the concrete surface. When steel fibers are undesirable for these or other reasons, glass fibers, basalt, or aramid fibers may offer a solution; however less effective than steel fibers. Structural calculation of steel fiber concrete can be based on, for example, the Dutch CUR 111 guideline or the CEB FIP Model Code 2010; the predecessor of the Eurocode, which is expected to have a chapter on steel fiber concrete in the next version.

Hybrid reinforced concrete

Combining (steel) fiber concrete and traditional reinforced concrete has proven to be very effective. The vast majority of the industrial floors in large warehouses are provided with this, because floors can be realized without dilatation with very little cracking. Construction of floors of 100,000 m2 without dilatations is realistic and successfully realized. The first wind turbine foundations have



3D finite element calculation of a wind turbine foundation

already been hybridized in civil construction. For example, in the 260 m long joint-free basement floor construction of the Boerenwetering garage in Amsterdam, hybrid reinforced concrete has been successfully applied. Application of fiber concrete combined with traditional reinforcement has a very beneficial mutual effect. The reinforcing bars prevent cracks from opening to wide, so fibers can not be pulled out of the concrete. Fiber concrete prevents the concrete from splitting around the ridges of the reinforcing steel, which reduces the anchoring length. The result is more strength and less crack width compared to using only one of both. Structural carbon reinforcement for example, with existing bridges or viaducts, the increased load over time can cause the structure doesn’t meet the structural requirements no longer. By gluing carbon slats to the concrete, the moment and shear force capacity can be increased, so the construction can last for years. This technique has been successfully applied at the Nijkerker bridge.

Reinforcement alternatives

In most cases it is not the concrete itself, but the reinforcement in the concrete that makes concrete have a finite lifespan. Constructions under extreme conditions (maritime/chemical) or with a desired lifespan of 100 years or longer,


can also be reinforced with ‘bars’ of carbon, basalt or fiberglass. In this case, wide cracks are no problem, because these bars do not corrode and therefore do not attack the concrete (concrete rot).

Alkaline activated concrete and geopolymer concrete

Concrete hardens because cement reacts with water to form cement stone. Portland cement production is responsible for around seven percent of global CO2 emissions, putting cement under pressure as a material in the future. It is also possible to make rock with water, activator and binder dust instead of cement. Fly ash or blast furnace slag can be used as binder dust, but also materials such as volcanic ash, finely ground brick, dredged sludge, ground waste slag or waste streams that are released during the production of metals can do the job. In this way, so-called alkaline activated concrete and geopolymer concrete is formed which can obtain virtually the same properties as the current cement concrete. Several aspects of this type of concrete are currently under investigation.

Recycled content

Due to the development of material passports, shadow prices and LEED and

BREEAM certifications in the context of sustainability, the demand for concrete with recycled content is increasing. By mid-2050, nearly 100 percent of concrete content should come from a recycled source. The Netherlands is already doing well with regard to binder, because a lot of blast furnace cement and fly ash are used. However, the percentages of recycled sand and gravel will gradually have to increase. This requires a better an cleaner separation of concrete debris and termination of use as a road foundation. But still, further investigation is required. For example: fire resistance. The concrete industry will also have to find solutions to process concrete properly. More quality assurance will certainly be needed for this.

Material saving through high-quality engineering

During the period that reinforced concrete was developed, materials were scarcer than labour. During the last century, everyone was used to the idea that materials are widely available. In future, however, there will have to be a search again for possibilities to save material. Within the engineering of wind turbine foundations, for example, automated performance of high-quality calculations can save 25 to 40 percent materials. Certainly with concrete structures with

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 a lot of repetition or with large dimensions, this business case can be considered. Moreover, this will lead to a more sustainable solution. For many topics in circular transition, there is no unambiguous, comprehensive solution; similarly for concrete. The entire chain will have to search for possibilities to use concrete more efficiently and sustainably. In the 21st century, real innovations only will be started when parties cooperate. When clients, advisers, suppliers and contractors join forces, concrete will also prove future-proof in the 21st century. Niki Loonen, senior advisor ABT

By gluing carbon slats to the concrete, the moment and shear force capacity can be increased, so the construction can last for years. This technique has been successfully applied at the Nijkerker bridge



First lightweight, FRP 3D printed bridge Royal HaskoningDHV, CEAD and DSM have designed the first lightweight 3D printed FRP pedestrian bridge prototype using a composite material. It consists of a glass filled thermo­ plastic PET (Arnite) and is combined with continuous glass fibres which are added in the 3D printing process. This unique combination offers high strength with extreme versatility and sustainability. To build a 3D printed bridge Royal HaskoningDHV, an international engineering and project management consultancy, wanted and partnered with DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition,


health and sustainable living and pioneer in 3D printing materials, and CEAD, supplier of 3D printing equipment on the frontier of large scale composite additive manufacturing.

This partnership is bringing about a paradigm shift in the way we think about the form and function of bridges in our society. FRP bridges are already well known for having a longer lifetime expectancy

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 3D printing has evolved dramatically over the years. This 3D printed bridge prototype demonstrates the huge strides which will transform the future of this industry, not only speeding up construction, but also making the process more cost and time efficient. This technology is made for exactly these industry applications, making them more sustainable and easier to manufacture.

Circular economy

Designs that were previously considered challenging or impossible are now possible with 3D printing

with lower life cycle costs compared to steel bridges. What’s new here is the use of a 3D printing technology, shaping the opportunity to print large scale continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic parts. Using this new composite thermoplastic material, there will be a new era for sustainability and the boundaries of bridge functionality will be pushed even further.

Rather than using traditional materials such as steel or concrete, these bridges can be much more sustainable and offer greater flexibility in design using recyclable materials. Previously, designs deemed challenging or impossible to produce with other manufacturing methods but are now possible with 3D printing.

This project provides a great example of how companies in the Netherlands are partnering to be at the forefront in the transition towards circularity - one that is innovative and competitive in transforming bridge construction for the future. Royal HaskoningDHV’s role takes the form of bridge designer, while CEAD developed the largest composite 3D printer and DSM has extensive expertise in additive manufacturing and provides the innovative composite material. DSM, Royal HaskoningDHV and CEAD are also working together on predictive modelling to optimise material and printing process. Maurice Kardas, Royal HaskoningDHV


By including sensors in the design, it is possible to build a digital twin of the bridge. These sensors can predict and optimise maintenance, ensure safety and extend the life span of our bridges. It can also incorporate new functionalities such as monitoring vital environmental aspects and improve the decision-making process for maintenance and inspection via dynamic real-time reports on the condition of the bridge. The combination of the companies’ generative design and predictive modelling expertise broadens the design freedom. It also allows for a more efficient bridge design as it uses only the precise amount of material required, thus helping to deliver an optimised printing process which results in improved mechanical performance. Using a material such as Arnite has huge benefits for the construction of bridges.

Using sensors, maintenance can be predicted and optimized, safety guaranteed and the service life extended



Smart Materials, Part 5

Piezoelectric actuators : benders and stacks Smart materials are everywhere, but often invisible or simply not recognized. This is the fith article in a series of eight, in which prof. Pim Groen will discuss the world of smart materials; this time piezoelectric actuators. Piezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials in response to applied mechanical stress and vice versa. Pim Groen is professor of SMART Materials at Aerospace Engineering (AE) at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Programme Manager of Holst Centre, TNO. 28 | INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 An piezoelectric actuator uses the inverse or converse piezoelectric effect. If a charge is applied to the piezoelectric materials a deformation of the material occurs. This can be used as an actuator. In figure 1 several varieties are presented. On the left there is the bulk actuator which consists of monolithic piezoceramics. This ceramic might also contain internal electrodes to make the multi­layer actuator. The actuators can provide very high forces up to kilo-newtons but typically show relative small displacements. In fact, 50 microns is rather a lot. On the other hand there are the bimorph actuators which consist of two piezo plates glued together, creating a bending mode if one of the two plates is actuated. This will provide much more displacement but also much lower forces. Let’s start with the bulk actuator (figure 2). This is a block of piezoceramics, poled in the 3 direction and with electrodes on top and at the bottom. The electromechanical properties can be described by the constitutive equation like discussed before. At zero stress, so for a free moving actuator T equals zero. The strain S is now the product of the piezoelectric charge constant d33 multiplied by the electrical field. At zero strain - so when the displacement of the actuator is blocked - we find the blocking force of the actuator. So the stress T is the electrical field multiplied by d33 divided over the compliance. This last factor d33 over s33 is e33: this is piezoelectric stress constant (figure 3). Now some simple calculations can be made (see figure 4): The maximum electrical field which can be applied on piezoelectric actuator is 2kV/mm. Furthermore, the d33 for a typical PZT material is 500 Coulomb per newton or pm per volt.

Figure 1. Piezoelectric actuators

Figure 2 & 3. Bulk actuators; d33 mode

So we now arrive at a maximum strain of 0.1%. This is an important number; it’s a simple quantity showing what a piezo­ electric actuator can do. If this strain is multiplied by the length of the actuator, this will result in the maximum stroke. The same thing can be archieved for stress. The piezoelectric stress constant

Figure 4: Practical modes of operation


INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 is multiplied with the electric field as shown at the previous slide. If we now fill in the numbers we end up with a stress of 50 N per square millimeter. Again this a number of importance. If this number is multiplied with the cross section of the actuator we have the blocking force. Now the maximum stroke and the blocking force have been calculated which makes it possible to construct the force stroke diagram with the actuator line (figure 5). This makes it possible to discuss the structural line. For a stiff structure a relative high force is required. This is the structural line shown in (a). For a compliant structure we find the structural line (c). It shows a large displacement and a low force. If the actuator stiffness and the stiffness of the surrounding mechanical structure are the same, we arrive at structural line (b). This is also the line where the optimal energy transfer is obtained by the impedance matching. Figure 6 shows this calculated for a stack of 9 by 9 millimeter and different heights. So the max blocked force is 4 kN and the displacement is dependent of the stack height; in this case up to 80 micrometer. Now it’s interesting to look at the voltage which is needed to use these actuators. In a well-known application for diesel injection, an actuator which has a stroke of 30 micron is required (figure 7). So an actuator of 30 mm length will do the job. We did notice earlier an electric field of 2 kV per mm will be needed. So 60 kV would be necessary to drive this actuator. The conclusion is now simple: this is not going to work. The solution is in the multilayer. This is the multilayer actuator which can be seen a stack of thin actuators on top of each other. A typical layer thickness in a multilayer actuator is 100 microns. Now you see that one only needs 200 V to drive this actuator.

Figure 6: In practice

Figure 7: Multilayer actuators

Figure 9 shows some real piezoelectric actuators of different suppliers. And this can be seen inside these actuators: thin ceramic layers separated by the electrode layers. Figure 9 also shows how the internal electrodes are connected. One electrode on a ceramic layer extends to the left side and Figure 8: Multilayer actuators

Figure 5: Actuator in line: force-stroke diagram


Figure 9: Multilayer: interdigitated electrodes

INNOVATIVE MATERIALS 5 2019 the electrode on the ceramic layer above extends to the right side. The electrode can now be connected to the outside world to drive the actuator. This is called interdigitated electrodes. But what to do when more displacement is needed? The answer is: use some form of mechanical amplification. Figure 10 shows a so-called amplified piezoelectric actuator: the APA. In this form an external elliptical shell is placed around the multilayer actuator which magnifies the movement along the short axis which comes from the movement along the long axis. The consequence is that you are trading in force for movement. (It’s important to realise that the resonance frequency now is lower. This resonance frequency we will be discussed in the sensor part.)

Figure 10: Mechanical amplification

The other solution to make more displacement is by using a so-called piezolectric bimorph (figure 11). In this case two piezoelectric plates are glued together which are both poled in the 3 direction. This is called a parallel bimorph. Figure 11 also shows some products of bimorphs which are on the market. Size here are in the centimeter range. Figure 12 shows some typical properties of bimorphs. The length varies between 5 and 40 mm. Notice the deflection increases with the length of the bimorph up to about one millimeter. At the same time the blocking force decreases with the length. For short bimorphs forces up to about 2 N can be reached. Finally, the force is proportional with the width of the bimorph.

Figure 11: Piezoelectric benders: bimorphs

Finally figure 13 shows how the piezoelectric bimorph or bender is in real. The two piezo-plates with gold plated electrodes which are needed for soldering. In the middle the is a C-fiber plate for reinforcement. And on the outside there in an extra flexible electrode and finally a coating. This is the simple bimorph.

Figure 12: Biomorphs: properties

Missed one of thethe preceeding articles? Click on the article above for the previously published parts.

Figure 13: Piezoelectric bender: 33 layers stacked



Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) supports companies with international ambitions The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is an initiative of the European Commission that supports entrepreneurs in seeking partners to innovate and do business abroad. The Network is active in more than 60 countries worldwide. It brings together 3,000 experts from more than 600 member organisations – all renowned for their excellence in business support.


Every company can participate by adjusting its profile to the database. This company will be brought to the attention in the country in which it wants to become active. At the same time it is possible to search for partners. EEN advisers actively assist in compiling the profile, which is drawn up in a certain format. The EEN websites also contain foreign companies that are looking for Dutch companies and organizations for commercial or technological cooperation. The EEN advisers support the search for a cooperation partner by actively deploying contacts within the network. In addition, Company Missions

and Match Making Events are regularly organized. All these services are free of charge. There are five types of profiles:

• Business Offer:

the company offers a product

Video: How Enterprise Europe Network works

• Business Request:

the company is looking for a product

• Technology Offer:

the company offers a technology

• Technology Request:

the company is looking for a technology

• Research & Development Request:

the organization seeks cooperation for research

When a company has both a Business Offer and a Business Request (or another combination), two (or even more if applicable) profiles are created. The profile includes the most essential

information about the nature of the supply or demand, the ‘type of partner’ that is intended and the expected cooperation structure. Get in touch with your local network contact point by selecting the country and city closest to where your business is based. They can help you with advice, support and opportunities for international partnerships. For sustainable building and the creative industry, contact ir. drs. Hans Kamphuis: T: +31 (0) 88 042 1124 M: 06 25 70 82 76 E: For Materials contact Nils Haarmans: T: +31 (0) 88 062 5843 M: 06 21 83 94 57 More information websites can be found at the Europe Network websites:


ENTERPRISE EUROPE NETWORK The Enterprise Europe Network Materials Database: Request for partnership: October 2019. Intrested? contact>

Austrian company is looking for joining techniques to bond foam or natural rubber with wood

An Austrian company is developing a yoga mat with wood applications. The mat consists of a basic material on which the wood is applied. The basic material of the mat is foam or natural rubber. The company is looking for a solution to fuse or bond the two materials. Partners from industry or academia are sought under commercial agreement with technical assistance or technical cooperation.

Turkish company is looking for composite production technology with 3D weaving techniques

A Turkish company produces fabrics for women’s clothing; it also has deep knowledge and experience especially in the production of elasticated trousers and shirting fabrics. They are looking for a composite production technology with 3D weaving techniques that will allow complex-shaped structure production. In this way, the amount of material to be used, the amount of waste and processes are reduced. The company looking for partners under a research cooperation agreement.

Lithuanian manufacturer of structural products from fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) is looking for distributors and offering subcontracting services

The perspective Lithuanian company is manufacturing structural products from fibre reinforced polymers (FRP). The company specializes in advanced technology and provides modern production lines by offering a variety of their products: reinforcing bars and nets, structural/pultruded profiles and posts for the fences. The company is looking for distributors or can also act as a subcontracting unit.

UK (Scotland) SME requests flexible heat retention material for hydraulic hoses

A UK (Scotland) SME is looking for a flexible heat retention material that can be applied to hydraulic hoses. The material should be rugged and able to retain heat within the hose even in below freezing ambient temperatures. The company is looking to partner preferably via a technology cooperation agreement.


ENTERPRISE EUROPE NETWORK The Enterprise Europe Network Materials Database: Request for partnership: October 2019. Intrested? contact>

Looking for biodegradable material producers to develop a paper stirrers dispenser for vending machine applications

A major Italian company active in the vending machines production is looking for a paper or biodegradable material producer to develop a new type of paper stirrers dispenser, to replace plastic stirrers. The partner would join in the project under a technical or research cooperation agreement.

Thermal insulation technologies sought for electric vehicle battery pack housing

A Spanish (Catalan) company specialised in design and manufacture of thermal, thermo-acoustic and electromagnetic insulations for automotive industry, is looking for technologies to thermally insulate the battery pack housing to optimize the performance of electric vehicles batteries and guarantee the protection of the passengers in case of thermal runaway inside the battery. The company is looking for collaboration in the form of research cooperation, technical cooperation or license agreement.

[Eureka/Eurostars2] Seeking partners to cooperate development of coating materials and products for smart windows

A Korean SME is looking for partners to collaborate on a Eurotars2 project proposal. The project aims to develop and improve adhesive coating technology and display printing industrial technology in the field. Thus, the company is looking for partners related to energy efficiency in building by submitting a proposal of Eureka and Eurostars2 under research cooperation agreement.

Italian company is looking for laser technologies for cutting special lens filters

A small dynamic Italian company has a leading position in a niche market for architectural light projectors and special lens filters (called ‘gobos’) to create indoor and outdoor decorative scenes for events, brand promotion etc. They ares looking for laser based techniques to improve the precision and speed in cutting gobos lenses by customising an existing solution or by collaborating in the development of a new machine under a technical or commercial agreement with technical assistance.



10 December 2019; Leeuwenhorst, Noordwijkerhout

M2i’s 22nd Meeting Materials Again M2i will organize the Elevator Pitch session this year. SMEs (MKB) or start-ups involved with material development are invited to participate in this session. A unique opportunity to catch the attention of a very diverse audience with a 90 seconds presentation.

Exhibition of expertise

All participants of the Elevator Pitch can display their products and services in the central hall during the length of the conference and can invite their audience to meet there.

Interested in joining? Please email your input to What began in 1997 as an annual meeting for the Dutch materials science community, existing of a dozen researchers, students and our industrial partners has blossomed into an invigorating event about innovations in materials. This year M2i again expects over 300 participants, representatives from SME’s to renowned industrial manufacturing companies, and from international universities and research institutes.

This year’s topics • • • • • • •

Education in Materials Science Integrated Systems, Digital Future Special Steels Multiscale simulation techniques for metal forming Joining Technology Sustainability & Circular Economy Medical Materials & 3D Printing Elevator Pitches


Registration is required and free of charge. For more information on the program and registration please go to

This year the program consists of interesting workshops and presentations and of course a lot of opportunities to expand your network. Meeting Materials is free of charge and open for everyone who is interested in materials development. The conference is an opportunity to learn about the latest insights and developments in the field of innovative and smart materials, along with ways in which these materials can stimulate economic progress and a sustainable society. This day is co-organised with 4TU.HTM and supported by the Bond voor Materialenkennis (BvM).


EVENTS Betondag 2019 14 November 2019, Rotterdam

Swissbau 2020 14 - 18 January 2020, Basel

Biocomposites 14 - 15 November 2019, Keulen

EuroTech RILEM PhD School Concrete Life Cycle: From Cradle to Grave 12 - 15 January 2020, Haifa

Greenbuild 2019 19 - 20 November 2019, Atalanta

Swiss Plastics Expo 2020 21 - 23 January 2020, Luzern

Formnext 19 - 22 November 2019, Frankfurt

Domain Driven Design Europe 2020 3 - 7 February 2020, Amsterdam

Glass industry fair 20 - 23 November 2019, Poznan

1st International Conference on Cellulose Fibres 11 - 12 February 2020, Keulen

European Aluminium Congress 2019 25 - 26 November 2019, Düsseldorf

Solids Zürich 2020 12 - 13 February 2020, Zürich

GlassPrint 2019 Conference 27 - 28 November 2019, Düsseldorf

Living Materials 2020 12 - 14 February 2020, Saarbrücken

European Bioplastics Conference 2019 3 - 4 December 2019, Berlijn

Maintenance Dortmund 2020 12 - 13 February 2020, Dortmund

Bio-Based Stakeholder Forum 4 December 2019, Brussels

Ulmer Beton Tage 2020 18 - 22 February 2020, Ulm

Waste Build 2019 5 - 6 December 2019, Amsterdam

MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 10 - 12 March 2020, Rotterdam

Meeting Materials 2019 10 December 2019, Noordwijkerhout

ESEF 2020 17 March 2020, Utrecht

Euroguss 14 - 16 January 2020, Nürnberg

Fensterbau frontale 2020, 18 - 21 March 2020, Nürnberg



MaterialDistrict Rotterdam goes circular The Netherlands have to be fully circular by the year 2050. That was stated in the national programme Netherlands circular in 2050, presented by the cabinet Rutte II in September 2016. The ‘Take, Make, Waste’ model of the linear economy causes many environmental problems, including climate change and plastic soup in the oceans. That is why this model has to be changed into the ‘Make, Use, Return’ model of a circular economy.

circular (‘Circularity’), are energy generating or saving (‘Energy Transition’), or are in some way healthy (‘Wellbeing’), so that R&D and design professionals from all the sectors of spatial design will be informed about the latest sustainable materials.

17 - 19 March 2020| AHOY, Rotterdam Register now for your free ticket at>

Sustainability is one of MaterialDistrict’s top priorities. Because everything within spatial design is made of materials, there is a lot to gain in this field by switching to sustainable materials. That is why MaterialDistrict introduces the so-called Innovation Route during the annual three-day material event MaterialDistrict Rotterdam (17-19 March 2020, Rotterdam Ahoy, the Netherlands), with innovations divided into three themes: Circularity, Energy Transition, and Wellbeing. On this route, companies will show (material) innovations that are


Innovative Materials, the international version of the Dutch magazine Innovatieve Materialen, is now available in English. Innovative Materials is an interactive, digital magazine about new and/or innovatively applied materials. Innovative Materials provides information on material innovations, or innovative use of materials. The idea is that the ever increasing demands lead to a constant search for better and safer products as well as material and energy savings. Enabling these innovations is crucial, not only to be competitive but also to meet the challenges of enhancing and protecting the environment, like durability, C2C and carbon footprint. By opting for smart, sustainable and innovative materials constructors, engineers and designers obtain more opportunities to distinguish themselves. As a platform Innovative Materials wants to help to achieve this by connecting supply and demand. Innovative Materials is distributed among its own subscribers/network, but also through the networks of the partners. In 2019 this includes organisations like M2i, MaterialDesign, 4TU (a cooperation between the four Technical Universities in the Netherlands), the Bond voor Materialenkennis (material sciences), SIM Flanders, FLAM3D, RVO and Material District.

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