We develop customized bio-based plastics for a variety of applications like films, fibers, filamensts, injection molded parts, and others. Our materials offer a specific, often innovative property profile that corresponds to or even exceeds that of fossil-based plastics. We cover the entire development chain from polymerization and material development to plastics processing and recycling with accompanying comprehensive material characterization.
Our bio-based plastics can be processed on conventional machines. Our many years of know-how enable us to adapt the materials optimally to the application. We attach great importance to low overall costs, good availability of raw materials, easy processing and simple recycling, and we can provide material samples on an industrial scale.
For many years, we have been working on developing and synthesizing polymers and additive systems based on renewable raw materials. These materials, such as chemically modified biopolymers like poly(lactic acid) PLA, and polyhydroxyalkanoates PHA, are being developed and tested for their use as functional additives in plastics, adhesives, and lubricants. In addition to polymer-technical considerations regarding the biological degradation of polymers, we offer many years of experience in the characterization of polymers using thermal, spectroscopic and chromatographic methods (DSC, TGA, FT-IR, TG-IR, GPC), capillary viscometry, titration as well as residue analysis (plastic-based waste). Further fields of activity are cultural heritage research, the preservation of historical items and the non-destructive testing of high-quality surfaces.
We concern ourselves with the physical functionalization of biopolymers by means of blending, additives, and fiber reinforcement. Further areas of focus within research and development include reactive processing and compatibilization in the melt. We use this expertise, for example, to develop new bio-based thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPV). Our know-how in the processing and characterization of film materials, biodegradable polymers and natural fiber reinforced plastics (NFRP) is part of our portfolio. In addition, we investigate the behavior of biodegradable plastics through ageing and soil contact. We help our partners to smoothly enter the manufacture of products made of novel plastics. Satisfaction of plastics converters and their customers is our goal.
The development of new materials does not end in the laboratory, but in industrial practice. For this reason, Fraunhofer UMSICHT operates a compounding pilot plant at the Willich site, equipped with twin-screw extruders, various dosing systems, melt filters, and various pelletizing systems up to production scale. In addition, we have modern testing equipment for the comprehensive characterization of external and internal sample testing orders.