The new Innovative Materials 2024 volume 2 has just been released

JEC Innovation Award 2024
Every year, JEC Group rewards groundbreaking, creative projects that demonstrate the possibilities of composite materials through the JEC Composites Innovation Awards. The innovation prize aims to stimulate innovations in composite materials and to bring the industry’s progress to the attention of the public. Over the past 26 years, the JEC Composites Innovation Program has involved more than 2,000 companies worldwide; 225 companies and 573 partners have been rewarded for innovations in the field of composites. The winners of this year’s Innovation Award were announced prior to the JEC World (5 – 6 March in Paris).

MaterialDistrict 2024
From March 6 to 8, MaterialDistrict Utrecht took place in the Werkspoorkathedraal in the same city. This year’s event placed additional emphasis on bio-based, circular and regenerative materials, and their importance in combating climate change and addressing looming resource shortages. This year’s event attracted 5651 visitors; 28 percent more than in 2023.

Innovative coating prevents limescale formation
Researchers at ETH Zurich now say they have found an answer. They are developing a hydrogel-based coating that effectively prevents the adhesion of limescale. Limescale crystals can’t find a hold on this surface, so they are carried away by the surrounding water flow. Such a coating would improve the efficiency of electricity production in thermal power plants and compensate for losses due to limescale deposits.

Airy cellulose from a 3D printer
Ultra-light, thermally insulating and biodegradable: cellulose-based aerogels are versatile. Empa researchers have succeeded in 3D printing the natural material into complex shapes that could one day serve as precision insulation in microelectronics or as personalized medical implants.

Using 3D printing to mimic the mechanical properties and design freedom of biological matter
Materials made by living organisms have remarkable mechanical properties. For example, wood can exhibit stiffness predominantly along one direction, yet it remarkably resists fracture, especially at intricate interfaces such as those with branches. Scientist Caroline Houriet from TU Delft has found an approach to replicate the complex microstructures found in nature using 3D printing techniques. This opens up new possibilities for designing and fabricating lightweight parts with high mechanical performance while also being recyclable. The team present their new insights in Advanced Materials.

Goldilocks: A lignine based alternative to crude oil
Since it has been realized that petrochemical raw materials and fuels play an important role in climate change, interest in biological, renewable carbon sources has increased enormously. In recent years, Vertoro developed an oily product based on lignocellulosic biomass – Goldilocks – that is used for various applications: for making materials, various chemicals and fuels (additives). Vertoro is a spin off company from a public-private partnership between Brightlands Chemelot Campus, DSM, Chemelot InSciTe, University of Maastricht (UM) and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

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