EmpaNews 32 published

Artificial turf with upstanding qualities

Feb 15, 2011 | BEATRICE HUBER

Researchers of Empa and ETH Zürich's Institute for Rapid Product Development, together with the Swiss company TISCA TIARA and the German fibre manufacturer Schramm GmbH, have developed a bi-component fibre for a novel type of artificial turf, one which thanks to its hardened core always returns to an upright position and because of its soft sheath avoids abrasions and grass burns.

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Focus: Nanotechnology and its instruments

Nanotechnology – or, to be precise, nanotechnologies – have good cause to celebrate. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the scanning tunnelling microscope. This instrument and others like it enable us to peer into the world of atoms and molecules and thus make it accessible to us. Meanwhile, thanks to nanoeffects, numerous materials and products have been developed – and even brought to market – with new, very promising properties.

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And also in this issue:

Research and Development

  • The art of insulation
    New technologies such as vacuum insulation panels, vacuum glazing and aerogels are the future of building insulation. Empa is investigating opportunities and optimising materials in order to minimise heat losses in buildings.
    Further Information: PDF of the article

Knowledge and technology transfer

  • Adapted to industry
    Clothing today must be able to do quite a lot – whether allowing moisture to wick away for improved comfort when worn or, in contrast, being watertight to protect against rain. In order to equip textiles with the desired properties, industry is always looking in to new processes, one being plasma technology. Together with industry partners, Empa has made this technology industrially viable for the textile sector. The first products are already in development.
    Further Information: PDF of the article


  • Debugging – successfully completed
    Small but by no means unimportant: defective electronic components can lead to malfunctions, not only in computer systems but also in entire transportation systems or power plants, and as a result incur enormous expense. Troubleshooting is generally very difficult, especially if the components don’t exhibit any manufacturing defects. Experts at Empa are playing the role of detective for industry and have taken causal research to the highest level.
    Further Information: PDF of the article

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