Innosuisse – the promising cooperation with the ZHAW

Since 2019 Krapf AG has been working together with the ZHAW on an innovation project with the aim of optimizing the air-lux sealing system and generating additional know-how in the field of sealing with air. Here follows a first report about the promising cooperation between science and economy.

Innosuisse is the Swiss agency for the promotion of innovation, which is part of the Swiss government. Its task is to promote science-based innovation in the interest of the economy and society. With targeted innovation projects, networking, training and coaching, Innosuisse promotes cooperation between science and the market. In such a way that successful Swiss start-ups, new products and services can emerge from it, which create a clear benefit for a prosperous and sustainable Swiss economy.

Know-how development through cooperation between science and business

In order to further expand its know-how in the area of sealing with air and to optimize the air-lux air sealing system, Krapf AG has now started an innovation project with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW, which is supported by Innosuisse.

The air-lux air seal as a basis for the innovation project

The uncompromisingly high-quality glass façade system air-lux 2004 was developed from the Swiss metal construction company and glass façade specialist Krapf AG. With the patented, air-supported sealing system, air-lux sliding windows guarantee excellent building physics values. The circumferential ring seal ensures 100 % tightness after closing – for example against driving rain, wind and noise.

Seal active

By pressing the button, air is generated in the frame and pumped into the seal. The seal presses itself against the slide profile and closes the gap between slide and fixed frame absolutely tight.

Seal inactive

To open, the button is pressed again. The air escapes and the seal returns to its original, rolled up position.

Aim of the Innosuisse project

The current air-lux system has been continuously developed and optimised over the last 15 years. The system has proven itself over all these years and shows, especially over longer periods of time, that air seals are clearly superior to normal brush seals in terms of performance. The motivation for Innosuisse is therefore not so much the longevity of the system, but rather optimizations in economic terms. Simplifications of the system should help to be able to use the air seal system in projects with lower requirements and higher quantities, such as high-rise buildings.

The ZHAW as the perfect scientific partner for the innovation project

For the innovation project Krapf AG is cooperating with the three ZHAW institutes Institute of Materials and Process Engineering (IMPE), Institute of Energy Systems and Fluid Engineering (IEFE) and Institute of Computational Physics (ICP). These complement each other in terms of technical and scientific know-how.

With the IMPE’s laboratory for polymer coatings, the project can draw on the extensive equipment and know-how in the field of analysis and process engineering. The IEFE makes important contributions to new energy-efficient systems, procedures, processes and plants by implementing knowledge from the fields of thermal and fluid engineering and renewable energies. By working on the present project, the expertise can be expanded, especially in the field of modelling and simulation of entire complex systems, and a deeper understanding of the interaction of materials and fluid dynamic aspects can be built up. The ICP deals with coupled physical phenomena in engineering and materials science applications. In particular, it deals with the interrelationships between microstructure and macroscopic properties.

The Krapf AG actively pushes innovations!

Since the takeover by Heinz Sauter in 1994, Krapf AG has proven time and again that it recognizes trends early and knows exactly what it needs to be successful in the market. air-lux holds a total of 4 patents for the air seal and air pump and has just applied for another patent for the air-lux pivot door. The company has deliberately decided to produce one hundred percent in Switzerland in order to meet the high quality demands of its customers. Krapf AG is aware that the high infrastructure and wage costs can only be compensated with high-quality and technically complex products.

The aspired product innovation should secure the production location Switzerland in the long run. The results of this promising cooperation so far give positive indications. We remain excited.