AIMPLAS participated in the K 2019 fair in Düsseldorf with an innovative display in which virtual reality played a major role. Through a tool that offers visitors a totally immersive experience, the technology centre presented the different applications of its research results.
It has created three different scenarios: a house, a car and a hospital. The innovations presented include an anti-icing coating to increase aircraft safety when looking at the sky; biodegradable or root-resistant pipes to extend the useful life of irrigations systems; new, more efficient pine processionary caterpillar traps with lower assembly costs; a composter made from marine waste; powder paints with insect-repellent properties for a range of surfaces; biodegradable twine and stakes for crops; and garden furniture manufactured from wood-plastic composites. In the roof of the house, a solar panel follows the sun and presents greater efficiency than conventional panels. The garage features an electric-vehicle charging point made from biocomposites.
The house consists of several rooms, where visitors can observe innovative products.
A vehicle is parked in front of the house, next to urban furniture made of recycled rubber and on a low-maintenance asphalt surface made of recovered waste. This futuristic car features electromagnetic shielding systems, recycled materials with electrical conductivity, heating panels that save up to 30% compared to conventional panels, self-cleaning and scratch-resistant surfaces, materials made from renewable sources such as upholstery fabrics, and eco-friendly, flame-retardant materials. It even has touch-sensitive sensor fabric in place of traditional button panels.
In the hospital, RFID-technology bracelets are used to locate patients more easily and antimicrobial surfaces prevent the spread of diseases. Once inside the operating theatre, visitors can observe innovations developed by AIMPLAS to make operations more effective through, for example, improved 3D printed surgical tools for use with the Da Vinci® Robot in ovarian and prostate surgery and a low-cost videolaryngoscope with improved vision with respect to conventional devices. Electromagnetic shielding materials prevent interference in equipment and 3D-printing can be used to produce life-sized patient organs to plan surgical interventions and manufacture patches for controlled drug delivery. Other developments presented include innovative, smart markers for radiotherapy in prostate cancer and smart biomaterials that regenerate maxillofacial tissue and reduce the need for surgical procedures. The hospital pharmacy features plastic packaging for eye drops to help cut down on the number of preparations required.
These projects offer solutions to the challenges facing society, including issues relating to the circular economy and climate change, sustainable mobility and agriculture, and food safety.
At the fair, the technology centre presented the extensive range of technological services it has developed in its ENAC-accredited test laboratories. The AIMPLAS laboratories have earned the most accreditations for plastics in accordance with the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.