Windependence UG won a special award for its Leewise 1000 wind turbine.
Windependence UG won a special award for its Leewise 1000 wind turbine.
Saertex's SAERfix EP self-adhesive fabric.
Saertex's SAERfix EP self-adhesive fabric.
Faserinstitut Bremen's process for producing organofilms.
Faserinstitut Bremen's process for producing organofilms.

The AVK Innovation Awards were presented on 13 September on the first night of the International AVK Conference held alongside the COMPOSITES EUROPE trade show in Essen, Germany. Four awards were presented.

First prize in the Industrial Category went to the Saertex company, Saerbeck, Germany, for its SAERfix® EP product.

SAERfix EP products are self-adhesive reinforcement fabrics which can be positioned on vertical or curved surfaces without additional adhesive. The fabric can be removed and reapplied as necessary. The adhesive is compatible with epoxy resins and is chemically incorporated in the matrix during the course of curing and does not affect the mechanical properties of the laminate. SAERfix EP can be used in resin infusion and injection techniques with open or closed tooling systems.

In the Environment Category, the Faserinstitut Bremen came first with its organofilms, which are fibre reinforced plastics based on long carbon fibres and thermoplastic matrices. The fibres are recovered from cut scraps or pyrolysed carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) waste.

A vibration process is used to separate the fibres of woven materials, orientate them and place them on a plastic film. The fibres stick to the film because it is still in the melting stage. For complete impregnation the film is run through a double belt press. The films are then placed on top of each other and joined.

The Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW), Switzerland, came top in the Academic Category for the development of hydroelectric turbine blades using carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) composites.

Hydropower is key to the Swiss energy market. Turbines frequently need to be turned on and off in order to cope with increased electricity peaks. This is inefficient, increases the wear of the turbines, and ultimately causes their failure. Studies performed at the FH Nordwestschweiz demonstrate the considerable potential of CFRP turbine blades in the hydropower industry.

AVK also gave a Special Innovation Award to Windependence UG, Leipzig, for its Leewise 1000 small wind turbine for commercial and private use.

The Leewise 1000 weighs only 6 kg and takes less than two minutes to set it up. It has a diameter of 1 m and a power of 350 W (at 13 m/s). The turbine is very quiet; at a distance of 1 m only 50 decibels were measured at 8 m/s. The rotor blades are made from carbon fibre composite. The Leewise 1000 can be used by commercial organisations, or on board boats, caravans and in the garden. It can be painted in different colours and carry a company logo, making it an effective advertising medium.