Shared Research Programme Brightlands Materials Center

At the beginning of 2015 TNO and the Province of Limburg launched the Brightlands Materials Center (BMC), a shared research center for polymeric materials. At the Brightland Campus in Geleen top scientists and industry specialists collaborate on sustainable innovations. June 2016 DSM also joined the program as a partner.

A range of different innovative projects

The first program line is Additive Manufacturing, or 3D-printing. Additive manufacturing is a very promising new technology. In one production run you can build a hollow structure, an directly assembled system in which parts rotate or slide, or a part that fits your body perfectly. There are already a lot of great applications, but the existing materials are not always optimised for this new technology. This has partly to do with the production process. It is difficult to get the successively printed layers or powder particles to adhere to each other firmly, which has an adverse effect on the strength. To be able to make optimum use of additive manufacturing, we have to improve the materials themselves. Twelve young academics from Eindhoven and Maastricht are therefore undertaking fundamental research for industrial and biomedical applications, such as scaffolds on which tissue is able to grow.

A second program line is Opto-Electronics. For the built environment we are looking at how you can manage energy that takes the form of light or heat rays. The sunlight that comes into an office also brings in the heat that you would rather keep outside on warm days. Using infrared reflection for example, in such a way that it can be adjusted to the prevailing situation, means that it can stay cool inside without the need for expensive air conditioning. On the other hand, if you can keep the heat inside when it is cold outside, you can keep your heating bills down. Another application for opto-electronic materials is the development of a sensor technology that allows power grid managers to measure the composition of gas both inexpensively and in real time. The well-known natural gas from Slochteren has a very constant composition, but through the import of gas from other countries, the supplier is no longer able to gauge from the volumes how much energy he has delivered to the customer. The gas sensor offers a solution to this problem

The third program line is Lightweight Automotive. In Lightweight Automotive a sizeable project recently sterted involving nine SMEs and co-funded by the EU. It concerns thermoplastic composites: superlight with endless fiber-reinforced plastics. This is an example of how we continue to develop through innovative products and technologies.

Become a partner?

We invite companies that want to become a partner to contact BMC. Participation in our programs means access to all the results in the program. Together we can do much more than we can on our own.

Become a partner?

Please contact BMC

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