Rheinforce wins innovation award in the conference AuxDefense 2018

Rheinforce technology, developed by CEFT researchers from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), Francisco Galindo Rosales and Laura Campo Deaño, recently won the Innovation Award at ‘AuxDefense 2018′, the first and most important international conference on advanced materials for the defense.

Rheinforce is a composite that allows you to modify the damping properties of different materials, such as cork, silicone or rubber, helping to reduce the impact and the harmful effect of them. Speaking more directly from the context of AuxDefense, think, for example, of helmets, which are objects often subject to strong impacts. By using Rheinforce fluid and incorporating it into a network of very small channels, laser-printed cork (photo on the left), and then placed inside the helmet, it is possible to customize the mechanical properties of the material.

The key to the technology lies in the combination of the mechanical behavior of the solid material and the fluid and the microchannel network that confines it. The composite can also be used on football shin guards or surfboards, and even be used in situations of vibration or excessive noise.

For researchers, this “recognition by the scientific community of the potential of this technology” is very important. In addition, they consider that recognition in the Innovation Prizes of the conference gave them visibility “both within the academic universe and outside it”.

Development of value added, functional, cost-effective and innovative products is one the key strategies to increase the competitiveness of industrial sectors dealing with defense sector. Looking at this important objective, the Innovation Award in the AUXDEFENSE 2018 conference is included in the programme, to award the best innovative products in the defense field. The innovative product applications will be displayed during the conference in a special show-room prepared for this purpose and evaluated by a selected jury, in terms of innovation, design and functionality. The contest intends to be a showcase of the latest innovations in the field of defense, both for the scientific and industrial communities.  The 2018 AuxDefense conference took place between September 3rd and 4th at the University of Minho.