Chemists, physicists, engineers and technicians of Fraunhofer sites in Teltow and Wildau as well as of the Chair of Polymer Materials of Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus(BTU) are developing highly crosslinked polymers (thermosets) for all applications with particular reference to aviation, IT-technology and instrumentation.
Today, our work is particularly focused on lightweight composites and on micro- as well as optoelectronics: new (nano-)materials, prepregs, core materials, laminates, all kinds of fiber reinforced materials, sandwich structures, bistable displays, integrated optical devices and barrier layers.
The application of our thermosets is in the field of adhesives, coatings, varnishes, binders, inmolds and gelcoats, castings, foams, prepregs, Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) and pultrusion. The following properties can be designed into these resin systems: high flame retardancy, high fracture toughness, minimum volume shrinkage
upon curing, fast and latent curing at a time, disbonding ability (e.g. with adhesives), barrier properties against water vapor and oxygen, adjusted thermal coefficient of expansion, adjusted refraction index, rework and recycling ability. As those properties are often in contrast to each other, we focus particularly on the combination and optimum balance of material properties like high Tg
(glass transition temperature) along with high fracture toughness in a single system, just to mention an example.
We are developing polymer systems along the whole supply chain, beginning with the monomers up to the finished part which is unique with any material research center in Germany. We synthesize monomers and prepolymers including or not one or more of the following: coreactants, flame retardants, tougheners, fillers or modifiers. Subsequently, we take efforts to ensure the processability of the systems and manufacture first prototype parts, mainly in close cooperation with our customers. We characterize the finished parts and work on quality assurance criteria. As a result, we are providing thermosetting polymer systems in any developmental stage as agreed between us and our clients. Those stages can be the reactive resin system itself, fiber reinforced materials, sandwich structures or any other demonstrator part that has been agreed upon.
In addition, we offer the following exclusive and unique methods for material characterization:
- Optical Crack Tracing (OCT) for the determination of fracture toughness
- Volume dilatometry for the determination of the volume shrinkage
- Nano-TMA/TGA/DVS for the investigation of thin polymer films
- Determination of permeation rates of water (vapor) and oxygen
All those methods have been exclusively developed at our sites in Teltow and Wildau and by today have gained excellent reputation in the marketplace by users and suppliers of reactive resin systems. We are also able to meet the needs of SME's for scientific advice by a range of application labs as well as the manufacturing labs for fiber reinforced plastics. These labs offer a variety of special services to our customers.