The application range of polymeric fibre reinforced plastics has grown rapidly in recent years. In addition, the fibre composite industry still exhibits great growth potential in the near future. Due to the excellent weight-specific mechanical properties, these materials are able to find applications as a standard material for the mass-transportation sector. The polymeric matrix determines significant performance characteristics of the composite, e.g. thermal resistance, damage tolerance and fatigue behaviour. Above all, these are also defined by the conditions under which the composite is made, which is why the economics of the entire manufacturing process ultimately depend on the rheological properties of the matrix and its cure kinetics.
Tailoring the thermoset matrix systems with the main focus of application- and process-relevant properties is a key area of work at the Department of Polymer Engineering. The research mainly concentrates on epoxy resins but also includes topics in the field of polyester, polyurethane and benzoxazine resins.
Regarding the processing of the resins, mostly the optimization of the viscosity profiles and the curing kinetics are the main focuses of the research. Regarding the applications, new and innovative formulations have been developed exhibiting tailored properties with respect to flame retardancy, thermal conductivity, toughness or electrical conductivity. The resin developments mostly focus on the common processing methods for the production of fibre reinforced plastics such as prepreg impregnation, resin transfer moulding (RTM), vacuum infusion and wet filament winding.
The activities at the Department of Polymer Engineering consider the whole development chain from resin formulation to composite testing. In particular, the equipment includes a 2-component RTM plant, a plant for impregnation of thermoset prepregs and a testing center with extensive facilities for mechanical characterization of fibre reinforced polymer composites. By having the whole chain in one place, the resin developments can thus be validated directly and efficient.
Contact: M. Sc. Martin Demleitner
Phone: +49(0)921 55 74 76
Telefax: +49(0)921 55 74 73