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TITK supervises regional winner at “Jugend forscht”

The pupils Lena Bilkenroth and William Klein examined the characteristics of biobased plastic honeycomb composites and, for that purpose, also used the materials test laboratory of the TITK group Rudolstadt. They could already achieve first place at the regional competition of West Thuringia in the field of technics. Now it is to keep the fingers crossed for the State Final.

They realized their seminal project “Quality comparison of TUBUS HONEYCOMB PP and ORGANICWAB” together with their specialist supervisor Dr. Thomas Reußmann, head of the department textile and materials research. The subject treats the use of sustainable products for future-oriented lightweight construction. The pupils examined the possibility to partially replace conventional honeycomb composites by biobased raw materials. Thereby, the young researchers dealt with composition and production process of composite materials in detail, carried out testing of variations on their own, and analyzed results comprehensively.

Lena Bilkenroth’s and William Klein’s idea emerged already in form nine. At a business game they founded a fictive enterprise, which produces biobased plastics. Within the scope of “Jugend forscht” (young researchers) the practical feasibility has now been tested. For this purpose, the pupils used the competencies of Tubus Waben GmbH & Co. KG from Rottenbach, a specialist in the field of lightweight product manufacturing. Quality testing of the samples from biobased raw materials was then carried out in the materials test laboratory in Rudolstadt. The honeycomb composites had to undergo compression, shear, peel, and bending tests.

The results speak for themselves: The combination of biobased plastics with natural fiber reinforced surface layers has great potential for industrial application. Lena and William could convince the jury with their comprehensive technical knowledge and their great commitment. The award for the first place was donated by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and endowed with 75 €, by the way. In addition, Dr. Reußmann in his function as project supervisor also got a special award provided by the Heinz and Gisela Friederichs Foundation as committed talent promoter. The next challenge for the trio is now waiting with the State Final on March 31 and April 1. We wish them a lot of success!

Moreover, the common “Jugend forscht” project was the starting point for more intensive cooperation between TUBUS Waben GmbH & Co. KG and the TITK Rudolstadt: in the future, both partners intend to examine further combinations from various honeycomb components as well as new plastic compositions from other biopolymers.

Update from April 1, 2022

The TITK Rudolstadt congratulates Lena Bilkenroth and William Klein on the 2nd place at the Thuringian state final "Jugend forscht" in the field of technology! This 2nd prize was endowed with 200 Euro - donated by the VDI - Association of German Engineers.

In addition, Lena and William were honored with two further special prizes: Firstly, their participation in the "JugendUnternimmt summer school - Innovative Geschäftsideen und Unternehmercourage", sponsored by the International Martin Luther Foundation and the Stiftung für Technologie, Innovation und Forschung Thüringen (STIFT). Secondly, with the special prize "REset Plastic" in the amount of 250 euros, donated by the Schwarz Group.

We wish Lena and William all the best for their future.

Lena Bilkenroth and William Klein are examining the new honeycomb composite from biobased plastics and a natural fiber reinforced surface layer. (photo: TITK/Steffen Beikirch)