In the division Biobased Composites & Processes, the research focus is on composites from renewable resources. Both thermoplastic as well as thermoset polymers are used as matrices. As reinforcements, natural fibers and wood, but also inorganic and synthetic fibers and fillers, respectively, are employed. Numerous different products can be made from those composites via processes like extrusion, injection moulding or 3D-printing. Besides the manifold options for shaping these materials, it is also possible to tailor their property profiles. With our unique know how, we can even produce complex parts from high-tech-ceramics based on renewable resources. Also, we are conducting research on the development of bio-based carbon fibers.
Our Research topics are:
- Optimisation of the Material Performance by Development of Formulations
- Usage of Biopolymers
- Usage of Recycling Materials (post production, post consumer)
- Usage of various Natural Fibers
- Development of Hybrid Materials
- Process optimisation
- of Compounding
- of Profile Extrusion (also Foaming and Co-extrusion)
- of Injection Moulding
- for the Production of Filaments for FLM (Fused Layer Modeling)
- Complex 3D-Ceramics based on bio-based Raw Materials
- Carbon Fibers and Materials based on bio-based Raw Materials
All R&D activities are supported by the overall “Analytics and Methods”-Team and assisted by the “market analysis and innovation research”-team (MAIF).
Team Injection Moulding and Material Development
Within this team the focus is on the development of innovative bio-composites and natural fiber reinforced polymers for injection moulding applications. Ecological considerations, characterization and selection of raw materials, and the respective compounding and final shaping processes are the core areas.
Team Fibers, Carbon and Ceramics
This team deals with innovative fiber reinforced composites, carbon (composite) materials and ceramics. One focus is on the characterisation and modification of fiber surfaces, and the investigation of structure-property relationships for the optimisation of the fiber/matrix interaction. The topic “carbonisation” comprises the production of bio-based carbon fibers as well as porous, activated carbon materials based on renewable resources, like wood, lignin, and cellulose, respectively. Furthermore, special thermoset-based composites are used to create silicon carbide-ceramics for structural applications.
Team Processing, Simulation and Modeling
This team develops and optimizes extrusion processes. The enhancement of simulation and modeling tools for mixing and plastification procedures is a core area. Furthermore, the research focus is on coextrusion, foaming and the production of filaments for FLM (fused layer modeling) 3D-printing from biomaterials.
Team Analytics and Methods (A&M)
The A&M team supports and cross-links all areas in terms of analytics and method development.