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12/18/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

First DNFI award given to ITA and Fraunhofer-Institute LBF

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They won the prize for their project focused on natural fibers. 

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Marie-Isabel Popzyk from the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University and  Roland Klein from Fraunhofer-Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt, Germany, were awarded with the first Natural Fibers Award of the Discover Natural Fibers Initiative (DNFI) on Dec. 6, 2017 at the Biocomposites Conference Cologne (BCC) in Cologne, Germany. They won the prize for their project "Reduction of moisture absorption of natural fibers and production of untwisted yarns in structural components.”

In their project, Marie-Isabel Popzyk and Roland Klein demonstrated that up to 100% bio-based, natural fiber-reinforced plastics (NFRP) with low moisture absorption can be developed and used for structural components. Natural fibers such as bast fibers are becoming increasingly important in technical applications such as composites. Natural fibers are inexpensive, environmentally friendly and are characterized by low density and high mechanical properties. Compared to the production of glass-fiber reinforced plastics (GRP), the use of NFK reduces CO2 emissions by about 30 % and energy consumption by about 40%.

The two winners were selected among participants from more than 100 countries in an online process. The voting for the DNFI Innovation Award began in July 2017, when a subcommittee of DNFI members selected five finalists from the list of many excellent nominations. In August and September, worldwide voting took place.

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