Press releases 2021

  • Microencapsulated additives: novel filaments for 3D printing

    Press realase by Fraunhofer IAP and SKZ / December 16, 2021

    3D printing is becoming increasingly important in the manufacture of prototypes and the production of final components. Additives such as colorants and fragrances, fillers and lubricants or biocides give the printed plastic objects individual functional properties. Incorporating these additives into the plastic is often not easy, as many additives are not suitable for the filament-based 3D printing process. The SKZ and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP are therefore using microencapsulation to make a wide range of additives available for 3D printing filaments.

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  • In the case of serious soft tissue injuries, tissue transplantation is sometimes unavoidable. For the patient, however, this means a serious intervention. In the future, the missing tissue could grow directly in the patient's body - in isolation chambers that can be implanted under the skin and individually adapted to the wound geometry. The 3D-printed chambers were developed by the research team from the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP and for Laser Technology ILT as well as the BG Klinik Ludwigshafen.

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  • From medical applications to sporting goods – biocompatible and sustainable plastics

    Press release / Fraunhofer Research News / November 01, 2021

    Numerous plastic products are made of polyurethanes. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a manufacturing method for polyurethanes that avoids use of toxic isocyanates while making use of carbon dioxide as a starting material. Polyurethanes of a reproducible standard are being developed in collaboration with partners from industry.

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  • 4D printing: heat shrinks printed objects

    Press release / October 29, 2021

    Printed polymers that change shape once in a predefined way when heated? This is now possible thanks to a 4D printing technology developed in the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials CPM. The extent of the change in shape of the printed objects is drastic: they can shrink by up to 63 percent. In the future, 4D manufacturing technologies could be used to produce parts that exhibit a specific behavior only after they take their predefined shape, for example as fasteners in the assembly of components in the medical technology, mechanical engineering, automotive and aviation industries.

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  • Indoor Air: how to eliminate viruses effectively

    Press release / October 06, 2021

    How can viruses be effectively eliminated from indoor air? This question is now becoming more important as fall approaches. Efficient indoor air purification is essential, especially in schools. Fraunhofer researchers are investigating and optimizing various filter and air purification techniques in the AVATOR project.

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  • Fuel cells are typically applied to generate electrical energy from hydrogen or methanol. Nanoscale catalysts get the process going - but until now, the quality of these materials has varied significantly. The CAN research division of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP eliminated these problems: With an optimized catalyst and continuous, reproducible production process with very good control over the material properties.

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  • Counterfeit-proof product protection and resilient supply chains are the goals of the Fraunhofer SmartID project. The Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP, for Secure Information Technology SIT and for Open Communication Systems FOKUS are developing a novel marking system that can determine the authenticity of products via smart devices even while being offline, i.e. without access to a database. SmartID will be embedded in existing track & trace infrastructures and can be printed on products or their packaging using commercially available printing processes.

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  • For a climate-neutral economy, every opportunity must be exploited to reduce energy requirements and use resources efficiently. Highly efficient industrial processes are a key element in this. To this end, in the R2R-Net network, 18 European partners from industry and research are further developing reel-to-reel systems and processes that are used in production in a variety of ways. Companies benefit from the expertise, the support during scale-up and ramping up of the production, and the technical exchange. On September 7, 2021, the partners will present current developments, success stories and novel production equipment in a workshop. The network is open to additional partners.

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  • Biofunctionalized materials / 2021

    Enzymes successfully embedded in plastics

    Press release / Fraunhofer Research News / June 01, 2021

    In general, plastics are processed at way over a hundred degrees Celsius. Enzymes, by contrast, cannot usually withstand these high temperatures. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP have managed to reconcile these contradictions: They are able to embed enzymes in plastics without the enzymes losing their activity in the process. The potentials this creates are enormous.

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  • Microcapsules enable self-lubricating plastics / 2021

    Plastic components with longer service life

    Press release / Fraunhofer IAP and Plastics Center SKZ  / May 04, 2021

    23 percent of global energy consumption can be attributed to friction losses. Components with reduced friction therefore represent an important contribution to conserving resources and achieving climate protection targets. In the case of plastics, reduced friction can also reduce microplastics in the environment. With the development of microcapsules filled with liquid lubricants for plastics, the Potsdam Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP and the Plastics Center SKZ in Würzburg are supporting these goals. Their self-lubricating plastics achieve up to 85 percent less wear. Since March 2021, the successful research project has been continued for two years.

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