Mechanical Engineering

Water Power Generator

Generator in field test at the Fränkische Saale.
© Fraunhofer ISC
Generator in field test at the Fränkische Saale.

At around 33 percent, water is still Bavaria's most important renewable energy source, as the Bavarian Energy Atlas shows. But above all, conventional mini hydroelectric power plants with a manageable yield are controversial - they intervene in the ecosystem. Fraunhofer researchers are working on an environmentally friendly alternative: In the future, innovative elastomer materials will convert the mechanical energy of water flows in small rivers directly into electrical energy. Read more about the water power generator.

Radial Valves

Magnetorheological elastomer valve.
© K. Dobberke for Fraunhofer ISC
Magnetorheological elastomer valve.

The radial deformation of MRE rings in a radially oriented magnetic field can be continuously controlled by the current of the magnetic coil, i. e. the radial gap between MRE ring and magnetic yoke can be closed continuously and opened again. This creates the characteristic of a proportional valve. Read more about Radial Valves.

Adaptive Clamping Systems

Adaptive Clamping Systems.
© K. Dobberke for Fraunhofer ISC
Adaptive Clamping Systems.

A magnetorheological fluid (MRF) can also largely or completely enclose an irregularly shaped object. When applying a magnetic field to the MRF, the object is thereby fixed over a large area. Learn more about the adaptive clamping systems.

Structural Monitoring

Transducer element in glass solder on steel tube.
© Fraunhofer ISC
Transducer element in glass solder on steel tube.

The monitoring of safety-relevant load-bearing structures of glass facades, steel pipes, and fiber composite components in vehicles and aircrafts, wind turbines requires long-term stable sensors with high error and spatial resolution. Read more about structural monitoring.

Sensor Glove

Glove with dielectric elastomer sensors.
© Fraunhofer ISC
Glove with dielectric elastomer sensors.

Dielectric elastomer sensors with their soft and flexible structure can be integrated very well in textiles. Thus, such capacitive elastomer pressure sensors can be incorporated, for example, in the fingertips of gloves. Read more about the sensor glove here.