Scheurer Swiss receives order to develop carbon reinforced thread inserts for sensors monitoring natural hazards.
With over thirty years of experience in lightweight construction for Formula 1, Scheurer Swiss GmbH is considered a specialist in the field of fibre composite technology. Proven in delivering top performance, it uses state-of-the-art technologies such as carbon reinforced 3D printing for customized solutions. Swiss sensor and digitalization professional, Aartesys AG, has commissioned the lightweight expert to design and manufacture custom carbon reinforced thread inserts for its revolutionary geo-sensor system, AarteLink®. It is used for monitoring and alerting in the event of natural hazards.
Aartelink®, the Swiss Army Knife in Natural Hazard Prevention
Natural disasters such as rockfalls, avalanches, landslides and floods are a major threat to the population in Switzerland as well. Roads, railroad lines and entire villages, for example, must be protected against avalanches and rockfalls, and natural hazard officers and blue-light organizations must be notified in good time in the event of changes and imminent dangers. With AarteLink®, the Biel-based company Aartesys has created a groundbreaking system for the prevention of natural disasters. The low-maintenance and robust geo-alarm system is a combination of sensor technology, sophisticated electronics and telecommunications technology. It reliably monitors and alerts to natural hazards, uncompromisingly designed for tough everyday use in the field.
When natural hazard events occur, action must be taken quickly. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the geo-sensor system immediately detects and accurately measures vibrations and movements in all directions, independent of vegetation and weather conditions, in the sense of an early warning system. On the other hand, installation and commissioning must be as simple as possible, even in hard-to-reach places such as rock crevices, and must function flawlessly so that the geo-sensor is ready for use in the shortest possible time. Small, lightweight and easily transportable, yet stable and highly precise components are therefore central. Carbon the solution.
Carbon at dizzying heights detects geohazards
For Aartesys’ latest protection project on Monte San Salvatore in Switzerland’s sunny canton Ticino, the leading company in the field of sensory monitoring of natural hazards has called in two more experts.
In addition to the fibre composite and 3D printing specialist, Scheurer Swiss GmbH, a company specializing in the production of round profiles made of carbon and fibreglass has also been engaged. The latter supplies the carbon tubes for crack monitoring, which immediately record and precisely measure vibrations as well as changes at critical rock crevices.
Scheurer Swiss is responsible for the carbon reinforced thread inserts with glass fibre insulation and a sophisticated injection bonding system based on fast curing epoxy, with which the thread inserts can be fixed in the carbon tubes on both sides within a few minutes and mounted on the rock at a height of several hundred meters.
The starting point for both the material selection of the carbon measuring tubes and the development of the carbon reinforced thread inserts and the unique bonding mechanism was the individual requirement of the customer Aartesys for a lightweight solution with low material input, fast and flexible to use, so that the climbers can install the geo alarm system AarteLink® in the shortest possible time even on steep rock slopes. Based on specially designed 3D computer data, one of the most advanced lightweight technologies, additive manufacturing, was used to produce the threaded inserts. “Carbon reinforced 3D printing meets all the criteria of producing one-of-a-kind items like these custom threaded inserts, which need to be lightweight yet strong, and as cost-effective as possible to produce when needed. “, says fibre composite and lightweight construction expert at Scheurer Swiss GmbH, Dominik Scheurer.
Ultra-stable bonding mechanism defies the forces of nature
For the present Aartesys project on Monte San Salvatore in Ticino, the carbon tubes supplied are cut to the required length at Scheurer Swiss and fitted with the carbon reinforced thread inserts before being installed in the rock faces as an AarteLink® early warning system.
If required, the carbon measuring tubes can also be cut to length and bonded directly on site. For this purpose, Scheurer Swiss has designed a customized hand tool – it serves as a sageblade guide for the handsage for capping the carbon tubes – and prepared a manual for professional cutting and gluing. Scheurer, engineer and owner of Scheurer Swiss GmbH, points out, “With the help of the specially developed and extremely fast-curing injection adhesive, the fitters succeed in gluing the carbon reinforced threaded inserts into the carbon tubes, which were previously cut to length by hand, even at dizzying heights.”
Natural hazard events are always a race against time. Timely alerting can save lives. AarteLink® must therefore perfectly meet all the criteria of an early warning system for monitoring natural hazards of all kinds. For this reason, Aartesys subjected the stability of the carbon reinforced thread inserts and the resistance of the unique bonding mechanism of Scheurer Swiss GmbH to a rigorous mechanical stress test in advance. Martin von Känel, CEO of Aartesys AG, is very satisfied: “The thread inserts with the epoxy bonding system of Scheurer Swiss prove their high reliability and easily withstand a tensile test of up to 400 kilograms. “, and praises Scheurer Swiss: “The positive result of our load test clearly shows the expert choice of materials and testifies to successful Swiss engineering.”