VDMA/Paul Schlack prize
For his groundbreaking work on the implementation of graphene in next-generation textiles, AMIBM postdoc Dr. Benjamin Weise was awarded two PhD prices: At first, the Paul Schlack Man-Made Fiber Award 2018 was dedicated to Dr. Weise during the opening session of the annually held Global Fiber Convention (GFC) in Dornbirn/Austria from September 13-15. Furthermore, the Walter Reiners Foundation of the German Textile Machinery Association (VDMA) awarded its PhD Dissertation Price to Dr. Weise on the occasion of the textile machinery convention which took place on September 18, 2018, at DCC in Aachen.
In his thesis, Dr. Weise investigated the effect of graphene on the mechanical, structural and electrical properties of melt-spun polyamide-6 fibres. Graphene, the single-layer allotrope of Carbon appearing in a honeycomb lattice, is considered as auspicious material for the development of high-performance electronic systems as well as charge storage devices. Dr. Weise now answered the question of how graphene could be utilized in textiles, too. Besides a deep state-of-the-art analysis, he conceptualized a textile supercapacitor and developed a melt-spinning process to incorporate graphene in polyamide-6 for the fabrication of multifilament yarns. Finally, Dr. Weise further processed the graphene-modified yarns into textile demonstrators and successfully proved the functional principle of the sketched textile supercapacitor. He was furthermore able to demonstrate the textiles’ usability as anti-static and Terahertz shielding materials.
‘These awards underpin the high quality of our scientific training and should be a role model for prospective generations of PhD students’ stated Prof. Gunnar Seide, supervisor of Dr. Weise’s thesis. ‘Graphene will make his way into textiles, and this work was just the commencement of a long journey.’ Anyway, the work was not only awarded with prices – it is also the basis for a European project called ‘GraSage’ in which Maastricht University is leading a research consortium of four partners from four countries who are developing a general model of the interaction of graphene and polymer materials in fibres.