Polymer Engineering

Competence in polymer technology and composite materials

Material and process innovations provide the impetus for the development of advanced products. Long-standing experience in material and process development makes our institute a competent partner for application-oriented research and development in polymer and composite material technology - from the initial idea and the concept development through to the manufacture of prototypes.

We develop materials, processes and methods for our customers in the automotive, aerospace, construction, packaging, toy and leisure industries. In addition to individual topics from and along the value chain, we also provide solutions for long-term social challenges, in particular sustainable mobility, the circular economy, hybrid lightweight construction and the digitalization of process chains.

Our research approach is based on the following strategic topics: Sustainability, flexible manufacturing technologies, artificial intelligence, lightweight construction and material innovation

Research areas in the Polymer Engineering Department

 

Material development and compounding technologies

The development of formulations for thermoplastic compounds as well as the material specific adaptation and the development of their manufacturing processes are the focus of our work.

 

Foam technologies

Foamed materials are increasingly used for transport packaging, heat insulation of buildings and also in particular in the automotive sector. The development of new foamed materials aims to optimize these products in terms of temperature resistance, energy absorption or recyclability.

 

Injection and compression molding

The research group for injection and compression molding works on material and process development for the large-scale manufacturing of material systems with thermoplastic and thermosetting matrices and  flowing characteristics.

 

Structural composites

The structural composites group is concerned with the development and optimization of materials and processes for the manufacture of high-performance lightweight structures. The highest strengths in components can be achieved through the targeted use of continuous fibers.

 

Microwave and plasma technology

The Fraunhofer ICT's competences in the area of microwave and plasma technology go far beyond simple processing technologies. They include the development of production units and measurement technology, accompanied by numerical simulation of the electromagnetic field and the resultant heating or plasma formation.

 

Material characterization and failure analysis

We offer a comprehensive range of services, supplying polymer producers, design engineers, component manufacturers and their purchasers with important information that enables material evaluation or quality comparisons of finished parts at every level.

 

Hand in hand to new lightweight solutions

Research in the field of lightweight construction technology is closely interlinked with the institutes of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

The guideline here is the holistic consideration of methods, materials and production - MWP approach.