Experimental characterization of plastics – Tailor-made measurements and tests

Every measuring instrument provides data; a good analyst provides the interpretation and suggests possibilities.

R. Brüll

Mechanical characterization

Physical characterization

Chemical characterization

At Fraunhofer LBF, we are conducting research to better understand polymer materials, exploit their application potential, and develop reliable and sustainable products. This requires a comprehensive understanding of material and component behavior that takes into account the process history and stresses that occur during application.

We can help you gain this understanding and improve your products!

Interdisciplinary and multiscale

We use our interdisciplinary expertise from natural sciences, materials science and engineering to provide solutions to your requests. We use a wide range of methods to measure different variables. We utilize chemical analysis, physical characterization and mechanical testing to support the development of thermoplastics, duromers, elastomers, foams and composites in terms of formulation, materials and components.

  • Determining structure-property relationships from nano- to macroscale and from microseconds to years
  • Recording thermophysical properties
  • Mechanical testing (including multiaxial tests)
  • Creep, crash and fatigue tests with combined environmental simulation
  • Electrical property tests (including charging and dielectric strength)
  • Aging and weathering tests
  • Tests in different surrounding media
  • Determining fiber orientation in short- and continuous-fiber-reinforced components
  • Studying corrosion and abrasion during plastics processing

If conventional methods cannot meet your needs, we can develop customized measurement and testing methods for laboratory and process applications as well as for component design.

We produce specimens using institute facilities for injection molding and milling, or develop specific preparation methods.

We record the material properties throughout a product’s life cycle

An interdisciplinary team is available to you for all requests relating to product life cycle – from synthesis and material selection and optimization, through design and the manufacturing process, to recyclability at the end of the product’s service life. We have proven expertise and unique equipment for areas such as polyolefin analysis and the mechanical characterization of short-fiber-reinforced materials. In the event of damage, we will be there to assist with analyses and troubleshooting. To estimate service life, we will work with you to determine the most important influencing factors, such as temperature, humidity, mechanical loads and radiation. Using tailored aging tests and accelerated weathering, either in the lab or outdoors, we will adjust your requirements profile and record the relevant changes in properties. Using existing or adapted models, we will provide methods for the constructive design of your product and estimating its service life. We identify and evaluate the corrosive and abrasive effects of compounds during their processing and study the wear resistance of materials for processing units.