Strong yet flexible – workable materials for lightweight structures
Fiber reinforced thermosets have excellent mechanical properties and are widely used for large lightweight structures. However, once manufactured these extremely strong materials can no longer be worked and shaped. This limits the use of industrial production processes and also means that the recycling of materials from end-of-life components is currently virtually impossible.
To address these issues, the "Chemistry of Fiber Reinforced Plastics" department is developing new polymer systems which, despite their three-dimensional network structures, are able to undergo plastic deformation and hence be shaped.
The main R&D activities concern:
- Reversible reactions
- Thermo-responsive polymers
- Polymer dependent manufacturing of composites
- Structural analysis and material characterization