Functional Composites

Elektrisch leitfähiges Polymer-Metall-Komposit als Halbzeug
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Electrically conducting polymer-metal composite as semi-finished product
Composite material laminated into a sandwich component
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Composite material laminated into a sandwich component

Functional composites bring together various material properties and often combine the advantages of different classes of materials. For developers they provide elegant new opportunities for a host of industrial applications.


Different materials lead to new functions

Our development work on functional composites is leading to customized solutions in the area of polymer composites. Our knowledge of materials and technologies means we are able to process a very wide range of materials.

For example, nano-sized fillers can be used to manufacture nanocomposites and also composites with micro-sized metal, polymer, or carbon fibers. For the polymer matrix, a suitable thermoplastic polymer or elastomer is chosen depending on the subsequent application and the desired properties of the composite.

The goal of two-component or multi-component polymer composites is to combine the positive properties of the individual materials and provide users with new application areas. Functionality integration into the matrix material is possible with regard to the following properties:

  • Antibacterial effect
  • Antistatic effect
  • High electrical conductivity
  • Sensor effect
  • Thermal conductivity
  • High electromagnetic shielding

For example, composites are under development for medical applications, environmental technology, the car manufacturing industry, and the aviation and aerospace industries.