As a pioneer in the development of water-miscible coolants and neat oils, Rhenus Lub GmbH & Co KG is now also co-operating with the German Aerospace Centre. Its research and development activities extend beyond the aerospace field to the focal points of energy, transportation and safety. The DLR co-operates with numerous well-known companies that can be counted among the elite of German business. “At DLR, the Technology Marketing department is a contact partner and co-operation partner for leading innovation-oriented companies such as Rhenus Lub”, explains Dr Ute Gerhards, who is responsible for Strategic Innovation Partnerships at DLR Technology Marketing in Cologne. “Together with Rhenus Lub, we are building important bridges between research and industry, as well as between product ideas, innovation and the market”.
The common goal: To research and develop coolants formulated specifically for the machining of fibre-reinforced plastics and their combination with metal multilayer composites. Machining such materials is a highly specialised discipline in the production process. Reliable heat removal, exceptional flushing properties, a long service life and optimal maintenance of the tools used are only some of the primary requirements that the lubricants used must satisfy. For reasons associated with fuel consumption and limited availability of certain metals, lightweight construction is an important field for the future of technological development. The challenge is to significantly reduce the process costs for the machining of lightweight construction materials. To a large extent, this is new territory for the industry, because machining of these materials differs considerably from conventional metal machining. Until now, complex and expensive special tools have been needed with which only low cutting and feed rates are possible compared to machining of metals alone. “For this reason, we are researching and developing innovative coolants with which the processing industry can compensate for these disadvantages. They still incur excessive amounts of money, time and resources”, says Dr Udo Quotschalla, Head of Laboratories for Research and Development at Rhenus Lub in Mönchengladbach. “Our objective is to enable higher machining rates for our customers and at the same time offer access to innovative production processes”. Through the use of tailor-made coolants and a coordinated machining process, customers can realise considerable improvement potential and develop a more important position in the market for the machining of new types of lightweight construction and composite materials.
For promotion of trade and industry along the Lower Rhine and ProduktionNRW, Cluster Mechanical Engineering/Production technology, the co-operation between the DLR and Rhenus Lub is an exemplary project. Dr Ulrich Schückhaus, head of the Business Development Corporation Mönchengladbach Economy: “We pursued co-operation with DLR deliberately in order to support innovation drivers such as Rhenus Lub. After all, innovative companies are successful in the market. Furthermore, Mönchengladbach is the home of successful companies in machine building, the textile industry and many other industrial sectors. As an area, we not only offer companies the opportunity to exchange knowledge with the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, but also a large pool of highly qualified engineers and well-trained technical workers”.