Nowadays, products such as adhesives, potting resins and matrix resins for fiber composites or coatings not only have to meet high technical and ecological standards, but also be economical and sustainable. The basis for meeting these requirements is already laid in the raw materials. At Fraunhofer IFAM, the development of novel raw materials, such as reactive polymers or additives, is therefore a focus of research and development work. The raw materials developed are tested in application-oriented formulations and specific applications. In addition, sample formulations based on new raw materials are developed at the institute, often also on direct order from raw material manufacturers.
Use of carbon dioxide, renewable raw materials and research in the sense of the circular economy
The "Product Carbon Footprint" (PCF) is becoming increasingly important for companies. This is how we help our customers to reduce the carbon footprint of their products:
- Developing raw materials using carbon dioxide and substances that can be extracted on the basis of carbon dioxide.
- Use of renewable raw materials, including all classes of substances such as (poly)-saccharides (starch, cellulose), terpenes, alkaloids, proteins, vegetable oils, lignin, glycerin or biotechnologically produced substances
- Consideration of the circular economy through research into recyclates and adhesives that interfere as little as possible with the recycling of the base material of a product to be recycled
Successful combination of economy and ecology
Raw materials for the formulation of polymeric materials must meet complex technical requirements, be economically integrable and contribute to ecological management. Examples include novel polymers and functionalized fillers to improve mechanical properties, e.g. for toughness elastification, or fire protection additives. Novel catalyst systems for accelerated curing make processes faster, and functionalized dyes or indicators for curing state control allow precise control of manufacturing processes with the new adhesives. It is important to use materials that have a low hazard potential, but also come from recycling cycles or renewable sources, for example, in order to be able to reduce the carbon footprint.
Implementation in industrial production
Already during the selection of the substances to be prepared and the synthesis routes, care is taken to ensure that subsequent implementation in industrial production is possible. These considerations take into account both the quantity of raw material likely to be required and the complexity of production, as well as an initial toxicological assessment. Pilot plant quantities can be synthesized by us and made available for our own trials.
Our main fields of work are summarized for you:
- Reaction control with catalysts, initiators and additives
- Monomers and reactive polymers, such as polyurethanes without the use of isocyanates
- Functionalized fillers including nanocomposites and low-melting glasses
- Polymers from renewable raw materials
- Use of carbon dioxide as a raw material
- Circular economy - circular economy