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Sustainable Business Practices with High-Tech Materials and RetroLine Testing Machines

Carbon-Werke Weißgerber GmbH & Co. KG based in Wallerstein, Swabia in Germany, manufactures semi-finished carbon products, sheets and tubes. In addition, this innovative international company offers customized solutions and manufacturing techniques for high-precision lightweight components used in the mechanical engineering, aerospace, automotive, boat building, medical and measurement technology industries all over the world.
Close collaboration with colleges, universities and institutes has helped the company achieve a leading position in the industry through research, and supports the implementation of many innovations in the field of lightweight construction.

Determination of material characteristic values

To determine the characteristic values of the materials and constructions they produce, Carbon-Werke relies on sustainable business practices, including the use of a RetroLine testing machine from ZwickRoell. The testing machine manufactured in 1991, was modernized in 2020 and equipped with up-to-date technology and the latest accessories. This allows the machine to perform tensile and flexure tests for determination of a material's bending stiffness using a universally applicable makroXtens II extensometer, which can measure up to specimen break with the use of a safety mechanism. The updated technology of the testing machine can be easily retrofitted even further with additional accessories and software.

Upcycling rotor blades

Since 2015, Carbon-Werke Weißgerber has also been breaking new ground in terms of carbon materials used. Since then they have run trials on a process to remove the carbon reinforcement belts contained in rotor blades of obsolete and shut-down wind turbines in their entirety for upcycling purposes. The continuation of this development is of great significance, as enormous quantities of resources will be released in the next 10 to 20 years, particularly as a result of the obligation to dismantle wind turbines, and it is imperative to find new uses for high-quality carbon material.

Lighthouse project for biodiversity

For the first time, the carbon rods taken from the rotor blades were used for a lighthouse project in the Siebentischwald forest in Augsburg, Germany. The objective of this project is to give dead trees a second chance by using the stable, durable, and resistant material for targeted support. Large old trees and historical tree monuments represent an almost irreplaceable value for biodiversity and are of greatest significance as a refuge for insects, small mammals and birds. This concludes the overriding idea of sustainable business practices, in which value is placed not only on sustainable testing technology, but also on resource-saving handling of high-performance materials.

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