Founded in 1990 and expanded to include a demonstration center in 2002, the Institute for Composite Materials (IVW) is a non-profit research institution of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate based on the campus of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. Its work focuses primarily on researching and developing applications for composite materials based on polymer matrix systems. The IVW is one of the most highly regarded institutes in the field of composite materials, both in Germany and on an international scale, due to its outstanding innovative prowess. One of the highly promising projects the institution is currently working on is called CompActive (funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in conjunction with the European Social Fund), which seeks to develop and manufacture active components and systems based on shape-memory alloys.
The process of combining fiber-reinforced plastic with shape-memory alloys forms an active hybrid compound and can already generate major geometrical changes at low temperatures. This innovative actuator principle can be used to perform application-specific adjustment functions with the benefits of minimal installation space, ultra-light weight and fissure- and kink-free contours. Of course, this technology opens up completely new possibilities for innovative applications in a wide range of sectors. Whether an existing adjustment function needs overhauling or an innovative additional function is required, the CompActive team can perform all the steps from the initial concept to market-ready modules for series application - conducting feasibility studies, setting up functional prototypes, performing detailed design and manufacturing active modules.