High frequency engineering is the area of focus and the core competence of the Applied Mechatronics and System Design Lab (LAMS). LAMS offers its expertise in the following areas:
- All simulations and calculations related to impedance matching (HF systems)
- FEM simulation and calculation of electrode arrays for dielectrical heating
- Design and development of matchboxes (matching networks)
- Development of special adjustment regulators with high tuning speeds and 100% recording of all parameters
- Development of high frequency and impedance measurement technology
- EMC measurements on HF systems
- Development of HF processes and control software for dielectrical heating
R&D is generally financed and realized within the framework of funding programmes. We work successfully with small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. The Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy offers optimal support in this area, as both the University and the business partner receive funding.
Thermoforming of plastics
LAMS has developed a clean, energy-efficient process to thermoform plastics and integrated the system into a plastic tube bending machine. The innovation starts with the heating of the plastics using a dielectrical high frequency procedure, which can be carried out even in the most restricted of spaces, synchronously with the process. (EU-Patent EP2399717).
Contrary to conventional warming processes, the new dielectrical process induces the heat energy in the centre of the plastic piece. This makes it energy-efficient because only the deformation zone on the workpiece is heated; clean, because no damaging process auxiliaries are required; and easy to automate. In completed projects, heat performance ten-times higher than current infra-red systems was achieved.
Material fingerprint of plastics
Knowledge of the composition of plastics is important for the processing and sorting of plastics, e.g. when recycling. LAMS has developed a thermal high frequency impedance spectrometer which can determine the type of material, glass transition temperature, heating response and moisture content by means of a characteristic "spectral fingerprint". To do so, the impedance of the plastic test piece, which is placed between two electrically heatable electrodes, is scanned over a wide frequency and temperature spectrum.
With the new HF impedance spectrometer it is possible to determine standard thermal data within minutes. In comparison, plastics analysis with conventional differential calorimetry devices sometimes takes over an hour.
High frequency technology in medical engineering
Currently LAMS is working on the development of a mobile hyperthermia device for non-invasive treatment on humans and animals. In hyperthermia a body part of the patient is deliberately overheated to counteract normal body temperature regulation, to improve, for example, the effectiveness of medicines or treatment, or to trigger an immune reaction.