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Euromold 2014 Lightweight Wonders impresses with latest material innovations

Editor: Barbara Schulz

A bicycle of ‘knitted’ fibres? A building of inflatables? An athletic shoe made of foamed PET? A column with a 3D printed bone structure? Or a yacht made of carbon? Materia is showcasing today’s strongest and most lightweight materials.

In Materia's exhibition, visitors can interactively become acquainted with lightweight materials, their operation and effects.
In Materia's exhibition, visitors can interactively become acquainted with lightweight materials, their operation and effects.
(Source: Materia)

Materia, a leading global network in the field of innovative materials, will be present at this year's Euromold with the travelling exhibition "Lightweight Wonders".

Growing demands for energy and raw resources are encouraging us to become increasingly efficient with materials. Like organisms in nature that perpetually evolve towards achieving maximum effect with minimum means, sectors of industry are constantly evolving in order to minimise their transport, fuel and energy costs.

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A call for achieving more with less using light materials

Most innovation in this respect currently takes place in transport industries such as the aerospace, automotive and marine industries, as well as in public transport and the transport of goods. But innovation occurs not only where scarce fuel needs to be saved, Materia emphasises. The call for achieving more with less through the use of strong and lightweight materials is also taking place in the (interior) construction industry in order to save costs and manpower for example, as well as in the sporting industry where there is a demand for materials that improve athletic performance.

It seems that every year the record for the most lightweight material in the world is set again: from aerogel one year to carbon foam the next, Materia said. Additive manufacturing is also offering new perspectives as 3D printers are able to recreate the structure of cellular organic materials such as bones that are efficient because they only use material where it is needed.

Not only the material itself but also its configuration makes a difference, the materials network explained. Some innovative material configurations include complex knitted fibres, laminates, complex winding techniques and structural lattices.

In this exhibition, visitors can interactively become acquainted with lightweight materials, their operation and effects. From glass foam to 3D printed columns, from the development of new fibres to inflatable textiles, from ingenious cell structures to ultra thin laminates and many more inspiring applications, the visitor is challenged to interact with each material by lifting it, touching it and testing its strength.

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