Composites

Our Polymer Composite Group is dealing with questions related to unreinforced and reinforced polymers, sandwich materials and elastomers. Having a focus on thermal and mechanical behaviour, our activities extend from material over component up to the behaviour of structures.
These comprise research and development for industry, modelling, services, investigation and expertise of failure cases, consulting and know how transfer.

 

Actual R&D Topics “High Performance Polymer Composites" here

Our focus in characterization techniques for R&D activities and services are:
  • Thermal and mechanical behaviour under tension, compression, bending, shear or torsion loading of materials, components or structures
  • Standard tests and specific set-ups and tests according to customer specifications
  • Long term behaviour (creep, relaxation, fatigue)
  • Dynamical behaviour like impact and experimental hail simulation (building envelope, incl. tests according to VKF)
  • Ageing (temperature, media, UV, ozone)
  • Material characterization for FE modelling and simulation
  • Micrographic and fracture surface analysis
Specific infrastructure of the Polymer Composites Group

The most important elements of our infrastructure for characterization are listed here:

  • Climatic chamber -70°/-40°C up to +180°C and relative humidity up to 95%
  • Temperature testing chamber -145°C up to +250°C for universal testing machines
  • Universal testing machines from 1 N up to 1‘000 kN (tension – compression) and 10 Nm up to 20‘000Nm (torsion) with many special testing set ups
  • Thermo-mechanical spectrometry: Dynamic-Mechanical Thermal Analyser (DMTA) up to 500N under tension/compression/bending, from -150°C up to +300°C and 0.01 to 100 Hz
  • Experimental hail impact simulation: diameter 10 mm up to 80 mm and speed in the range of 5 m/s to 50 m/s (even up to 200 m/s with 15mm diameter)
  • Acoustic emission analysis (24 channels and various sensor types)
  • Rheometer (plate/plate and plate/cone) from –40°C up to +200°C
  • Dielectric spectrometry from –150°C to +200°C
  • Fractovis penetrator / instrumented falling weight apparatus from –40°C up to +80°C and up to 20 m/s und 6/16 kN and 1000J
  • Strong floor for customized multi-axial test set-ups
  • Thermal expansion coefficient of polymeric sealing sheets according to SIA 280 (-35°C bis +80°C)

Available infrastructure for processing:

  • High speed – high shear mixer (HSSM) under vacuum with cooling/heating
  • Calender (three roll mill)
  • Vacuum assisted resin injection (VARI)
  • Low pressure resin transfer moulding (RTM, up to 5 bar)
  • Heating presses up to 200°C / 300°C
  • Ovens up to 300°C
In collaboration with other Laboratories, we have access to following analytics
  • DSC
  • TGA
  • Microscopy (optical, SEM, TEM, AFM…)
  • Raman spectrometry
  • FTIR spectrometry
  • XPS
  • High speed video camera
  • Non-destructive testing (NDT): ultrasonic, thermographic, X-ray methods