TEUFELBERGER develops lightweight component for particle accelerator at CERN research center

The mystery of the Higgs particle

CERN, the renowned European Organization for Nuclear Research, strives to solve the last great mysteries in the world of physics. This is how the Higgs particle was discovered there in 2012. After a two year shutdown, the accelerator will be restarted this spring with changed parameters. This requires not only the smartest brains, but also the best technology.

T-IGEL® and a hybrid CFRP structure from TEUFELBERGER make it possible

The lightweight component of carbon fiber reinforced plastic material (CFRP) is installed in the center of the ATLAS detector that was built to, among other things, prove the existence of the Higgs boson. The component accommodates and carries the beam tube through which the particles fly and a specialized subdetector. This metal/CFRP structure was developed and produced by Teufelberger in cooperation with a German manufacturing partner. It offers several compelling advantages over its predecessor model, an all-aluminum structure. For example, it expands less at high temperatures, and, because of its lower mass, absorbs less radiation. Besides, it is considerably lighter. An aspect of particular importance is the safe transmission of loads between metal and fiber composite structures at the ends of the tube. TEUFELBERGER’s T-IGEL® core technology ensures the effective connection of the load bearing structure.

When thinking of CERN, the heart of Herwig Kirchberger, Head of the Composites Division at TEUFELBERGER and a physicist by background, starts to beat faster: “The thought that TEUFELBERGER will, with one of its products, be a part of the biggest scientific experiment in history, is really quite thrilling!”

The use of components made from fiber composite materials in combination with T-IGEL® as a metallic load transmission solution is particularly attractive for applications where high degrees of rigidity and strength, coupled with as little weight as possible, are key, e.g., for tension and compression struts, truss structures, cross beam elements, and drive shafts in automobiles, aircraft, and construction machinery.