In the Polymer Engineering Department our experienced researchers carry out intensive application-oriented research in the fields of plastics and pilot-level product development. In thematically-focused research groups they develop new processes and materials in order to produce lightweight structural and semi-structural plastic components. Emphasis is placed on energy- and resource-efficient manufacturing processes for the large-scale production of lightweight structures in the mechanical engineering and vehicle construction sectors.
Research in the field of thermoplastic processing is currently based on three approaches: the direct processing of long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (LFT-D) in combination with compression molding (LFT-D-CM) and injection molding technology (injection-molding compounding process LFT-D-IM), the processing and functionalization of local continuous-fiber reinforcements, and thermoplastic foam injection molding using chemical and physical blowing agents.
Material development plays an important role in the day-to-day research work. The researchers in the Polymer Engineering Department aim to produce compounds with exceptional properties. In the field of nanotechnology, for instance, the electrical conductivity of the material is tested, or novel processes are developed, for example to reduce unpleasant smells or to incorporate natural materials without damaging them. The broad and continually widening application spectrum for particle foam components, and the high demands placed on them, increasingly require tailored, high-quality material combinations and processing technologies.