Bekaert researcher Ann Lambrechts wins European Inventor Award 2011

Friedrichsdorf, (PresseBox) - We are proud to announce that Ann Lambrechts, head R&D of Building Products at Bekaert, has won today the European Inventor Award in the category Industry.

Ann Lambrechts received this important recognition for the development of Dramix® steel fibers for concrete reinforcement with flattened hook-shaped ends. The construction industry welcomed this innovative fiber design as it opened up a world of new application possibilities. Ann's invention increases the bending tensile strength of concrete by 32%, and ensures improved anchorage for a better crack control and enhanced durability.
Another advantage of the Bekaert Dramix® steel fibers lies in easy mixing and handling, which subsequently improves the installation efficiency and safety.

Ann Lambrechts: "I am honored to receive this prestigious award, both personally and on behalf of Bekaert. I also want to share it with all colleagues who made this invention possible. And with the many business partners and research institutes who believed in this invention from the start, and who truly have their share in the award conferred upon me today."

Dominique Neerinck, Bekaert Chief Technology Officer: "This award is testimony to Bekaert's innovation drive, and to our company's talented pool of young researchers who are very motivated to develop the products and processes of tomorrow. They do not only do this for applications in sectors which are automatically associated with continuous innovation, such as the automotive and energy-related sectors, but also in the usually traditional sectors such as the construction market."

About Bekaert Building Products:

The construction sector accounts for 18% of Bekaert's sales. The list of applications for which our wire, mesh and innovative fiber products are used is as long as it is diverse: in roads and bridges, tunnels and mines, in architectural and landscaping solutions, in precast applications and in industrial floors, etc. Dramix® steel fibers are a proven concept in concrete reinforcement. Every year, 5 million m³ of concrete is being reinforced with Dramix® steel fibers invented by Bekaert.

About the European Inventor Award:

The European Inventor award was launched by the European Patent Office and the European Commission's Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry in 2006. The award pays tribute to the creativity of all inventors who, in applying their technical, scientific and intellectual skills, make a major contribution to technological impact, economic growth, and improvement in people's daily lives. This year the awards were attributed at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest (Hungary).

Bekaert GmbH

Bekaert (www.bekaert.com) is a global technological leader in its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, and a market leader in drawn wire products and applications. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 28 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generates annual combined sales of € 4.5 billion.

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