Business unit Polymer applications
Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM
Profile of business unit
Polymers are increasingly being used as a substitute for conventional material systems and are combined with conventional materials to produce high quality hybrid systems. We can carry out the entire development process - from material design to testing prototype components in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Pilot Plant Center in Schkopau. It is becoming increasingly important to predict mechanical properties and find prototype substitutes to keep up with ever-shorter development times. Our competencies are related to thermoplastic polymers and polymer compounds, polymer-based high performance composites and elastomers.
Range of services
- Material design and definition of complex material models incl. the manufacture of prototypes from master batches.
- Design of polymer components and polymer-based material systems.
- Manufacture of prototype components via injection molding, profile extrusion, injection molding compounding, film extrusion and reactive polyurethane technology.
- Mechanical and microstuctural evaluation of materials and components and the development of microstructure-based simulation methods and testing concepts for lightweight fiber composite structures subject to high loads.
The focus of research and development activities here lies on the functional integration of polymer-based composites, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components and polymer foam systems into lightweight materials, the use of oil-based polymers with natural additives such as wood-plastic composites or thermoplastics reinforced with natural fibers and nano-composites made from polymer blends, and polymer nano-particle composites that include nano-reinforced elastomers.
In terms of material design, our clients can make use of our extensive polymer analysis competencies in combination with investigative mechanical and microstructural methods with which to define material models. We are highly competent in the design and evaluation of numerical simulations of component behavior in use as well as mechanical and microstructural testing. This business unit can produce prototype components and small series via injection molding, compounding, profile and film extrusion, PUR technology and vacuum lamination.