High-tec products from old crop plants

Researchers at the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences have developed prototypes for knee prostheses, aircraft seats, wind turbine blades and body parts made of natural fibres in cooperation with the St. Veiter “Wood K plus” research centre and the Silicon Austria Labs research centre. The EFRE project “Smarter Lightweight Construction 4.0” was chosen as one of 25 Austria-wide showcase projects in context of the celebrations of “25 years of Austria in the EU”.

The “Smarter Leichtbau 4.0” project focuses on new products made from old crops and the supplementation of these with new technologies. But “Wood K plus” also deals with innovations in medical technology. Here, the company cooperates with the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences and makes use of its expertise in the field of 3D printing of long fibre composites. The new technologies will make it possible to produce load-bearing and flexible structures for medical assistance products. For example, shafts and exo-skeletons for legs can be produced by using renewable raw materials and 3D printing technology.

“The advantage lies in the saving of material when using lightweight construction potential as well as in the saving of support material”, explains project manager Franz Oswald Riemelmoser of the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences.

Carinthia’s first “NoWaste research centre” is now to be built in St. Veit an der Glan.