Business Unit Polymer Materials

Service Portfolio

For decades, Fraunhofer UMSICHT has been a strong partner to small and medium-sized enterprises all the way up to ­large-scale industry in the areas of the development and processing of plastics. Our specialties include the development of materials of bio-based plastics and recyclate-based plastics. We are representative of product and process developments, simulation, production scale-up and additive manufacturing of plastics. In the area of consumer products, we have proven expertise in high pressure technology and coating technology. As an application-oriented development partner, we also transfer our material, process, and product innovations to the construction and leather industries.

Research and Development Services

  • Material development (focus on bio-based plastics)
  • Product and process development, manufacturing processes
  • Product design, CAD design, and sample production
  • Surface modification and surface structuring
  • Foaming of plastics
  • Component and system development
  • Coating development
  • Studies and consultation
  • Multiphysics simulations of components and products
  • Technical and economic feasibility studies
  • Sustainability assessments
  • Analytics, chemistry, biology, environmental analysis
  • Determination of the biodegradability of materials and products

Markets and Industries

  • Plastics and plastics processing industry
  • Manufacturers of household articles,
  • consumer care and clothing
  • Leather and leather processing industry
  • Manufacturers and users of additive manufacturing /
  • 3D printing
  • Construction industry

Projects from the Polymer Materials Business Unit



Plastics for textile applications

In order to be able to produce textile composites by means of 3D printing technologies, new plastic compounds are being developed that meet the material requirements of production and application.



Lightweight transport boxes made of bioplastics

Hollow chamber multiwall sheets are currently manufactured from fossil plastic. A biobased alternative comes from researchers at Fraunhofer UMSICHT who have developed a tailor-made blend system made of bioplastics for this application.


Bionic Manufacturing

Production of bionic components

By researching an additive manufacturing technology for the production of biomimetic plastic components and products, Fraunhofer UMSICHT acquired broad knowledge of new materials for selective laser sintering.



Bio-based pressure-sensitive adhesives

The demand for adhesive products based on renewable raw materials is growing. Within the framework of "BioPSA", the basic formulations of bio-based hot-melt pressure-sensitive adhesives are being further developed and adapted to suit different areas of application.



Sustainable alternatives for hard-soft compounds

Within the framework of the joint research project "CA-2K", bio-based hard-soft compounds are being developed for the 2K injection moulding process. The modification of the hard component led to significantly improved adhesion of both materials to each other.



Tailor-made insoles for diabetes patients

The joint project has succeeded in completely digitizing the production of insoles for diabetic patients: from the measurement of the foot and the manufacture of the soles to the subsequent evaluation of the orthopedic product.



Prosthetic replacement for arthrosis patients

The "MioHIP" project is developing a natural prosthetic replacement for osteoarthritis patients. The elastic femoral head cover is intended to preserve the joints of the affected person and ensure natural mobility into old age.



Natural thickeners for degradable lubricants

With the development of natural thickeners and binders, it should be possible in future to use new bio-based and biodegradable raw materials in lubricants that protect particularly environmentally sensitive areas from conventional non-degradable lubricants.



Medical aids in the 3D printer

Individually adapted medical aids for rheumatism patients are developed as part of SLS-ASSIST. Designed by sufferers, manufactured decentrally using state-of-the-art digital production processes.



New applications for bio-based plastics

PLA compound with competitive material properties for technical products: Project consortium involving industry and research is developing sustainable alternatives to crude oil-based plastics for injection molded E&E components.



Climate protection through bio-based adhesives

The development of new bio-based adhesive and adhesives based on polyurethane dispersions (PUD) was the focus of the project ‘Thermoaktivierbare Bio-Klebstoffe’ (‘Thermoactivated bioadhesives’) – ThermoBiK for short.