News | Berghof Membranes

Bio-inspired and selected by experts - "Ridge-M"

June 3, 2022

What a way to start: Berghof Membranes reached an important accolade for its latest innovation, the new, patented “Ridge-M” technology, even before its official market launch. The renowned experts in the jury of the “German Innovation Award 2022” selected the bio-inspired membrane technology as one of the winners of the award class “Excellence in Business to Business” in the category “Materials & Surfaces”.

The “German Innovation Awards” honour innovative achievements that break new ground through their added value – projects that improve our lives and contribute to a better future.

This exactly is the goal of Berghof Membranes: Enabling a more sustainable industry with innovative solutions – and in this way conserve the world's precious resources. With the new "Ridge-M" technology, Berghof Membranes' customers will be able to do this better than ever from now on.

This is because the company's experienced developers have been bio-inspired by an important natural principle: Everything in nature is constantly evolving – always with the aim of using the available energy as efficiently as possible.

This successful principle from nature is the foundation of all developments at Berghof Membranes. The latest idea proves this more than ever: a completely new approach to the design of membranes for industrial water treatment that benefits customers in several ways.

The shark provides the crucial idea

The inspiration for this patented technology came from the skin of one of the most fascinating sea creatures: the shark. Nothing can stick to its skin due to the turbulences it creates, and it also enables the fish him to glide through the water most efficiently. And this is not because it is particularly smooth. On the contrary, it consists of numerous, tooth-like scales – the so-called denticles.

After months of testing in the laboratory and in practice, Berghof Membranes presents its novel membrane technology that successfully exploits this fascinating principle from nature: "Ridge-M".

Multiple sharkskin-inspired ridges in the length of the inside of the membrane increase the surface turbulence due to uneven shear stress distribution. The technology creates a continuous mixing of solids in the feed water delaying the forming of a cake layer on the membrane surface. Possible fouling between the ridges is removed easily due to the combination of turbulence and the uneven shear stress.

The added value for the customers is impressive: The new "Ridge-M" technology, the first field tests prove it, boosts the average performance, depending on the application and the operating conditions, up to 50 percent and lowers the average consumption of energy up to 33 percent compared to the standard membranes of Berghof. Chemical consumption is also significantly reduced.

This also convinced the independent jury of the "German Innovation Award 2022": They selected "Ridge-M" to be one of the winners in the category Materials & Surfaces“.

Berghof convinces the experts once again

The initiator of this prestigious competition is the German Design Council (Rat für Formgebung) founded by the German Parliament in 1953. It is considered by experts as one of the world’s leading centres of expertise in communication and knowledge transfer within design, branding and innovation and has been the sponsor of one of the most recognized design competition in the world, the “German Design Award”, for many years.

With the success at the "German Innovation Award", this competence center honour the Berghof Group for its special achievements for the fourth time: In 2017 and 2019, Berghof was among the winners of the "German Brand Award". With it, the German Design Council aims to strengthen the importance of the brand as a decisive success factor for companies in the national and international competitive environment.

In 2021, the testing technology division of the subsidiary Berghof Automation was among the winners of the "German Innovation Award" in the "Machines & Engineering" category with its "Smart Component Tester (SCoT)", also in the "Excellence in Business to Business" competition class.

This year, a total of almost 650 innovations were submitted to the critical judgment of the "German Innovation Award" jury, which is made up of independent, interdisciplinary experts from industry, science, institutions and finance. The entries are evaluated based on the criteria: level of innovation, user benefits and efficiency.