Plastics are unique substances: they do not take a great deal of resources, energy or CO2 to produce and they can be molded into any shape necessary. They can be flexibly adapted for countless applications in all kinds of fields, with an excellent price-performance ratio. With plastic, groceries can be packaged safely, hygienically and durably. Plastics save energy when used for transportation and construction. They are available worldwide and can be made from renewable raw materials. On top of that, they can be used in a variety of ways even after their service life has ended. However, plastics also bring to mind environmental issues, from microplastics to marine pollution. Researchers in the Plastics division at Fraunhofer LBF are aware of these challenges. That is why they’re developing tailor-made, sustainable, durable and environmentally friendly applications for plastic, from molecules through to formulations and physical and chemical characterization, all the way to components for thermoplastic, duromer and elastomeric materials. Plastic additives such as antioxidants, stabilizers and flame retardants, many of which originate in nature or are inspired by nature, are especially important for this research.
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