Services | Polymer Processing

Overview of services

Range of services offered by the Thermoplastic Semi-Finished Fiber Composites group

  • application specific material development for fiber-reinforced semi-finished products and molded parts in short, long and continuous fiber reinforcement
  • use of various types of fibers (organic and non-organic fibers as well as natural fibers)
  • process development and optimization in the continuous thermoplastic processing procedure
    • UD tape development with continuous and long fibers
    • extrusion of semi-finished products like hollow chamber profiles
    • compounding of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics
  • scale-up of processing procedures
  • optimization of compounding processes on twin screw extruders such as considering screw profiles and addition of fibers
  • development and production of prototypical components for a market launch
  • determination and evaluation of the influence of the material systems and the technological conditions on the characteristics of the material in thermoplastic composites (TPC)
  • destructive and non-destructive test procedures


Range of services offered by the Thermoplastic Composite Parts group

Research topics & competences

  • Process and component development for thermoplastic lightweight structures (based on tape & sandwich semi-finished products)   
  • Process simulation (compounding, injection molding, and thermoforming simulation)
  • Development of tools and process technology
  • Prototype development and small series
  • Sustainable lightweight construction

Process and component development

  • Process technology (IR heating systems, controlling)
  • Automation (robots, gripper systems, WZG)
  • Tool development and design (especially for hot forming)
  • Component design suitable for plastics and fiber composites
  • Prototype development and small series production 
  • Direct compounding in the IMC process

Process simulation

  • Compounding simulation (Polyflow)
  • Heating simulation & thermoforming simulation (LS-Dyna)
  • Injection molding simulation (Moldex-3D)
  • Homogenization (Digimat)


Range of services offered by the Sustainable Materials and Processes group

  • Material development of biopolymers (biobased and/or biodegradable) with the focus on setting specific processing and usage properties
  • Recycling biopolymers (biobased and/or biodegradable) and improving recyclability
  • Analytical and numerical material and process modeling as a base for digital product development
  • Resource-efficient production of 3D printed components from sustainable polymer materials using additive processing methods
  • Environmental accounting of polymer materials and their processing according to DIN EN ISO 14040 and DIN EN ISO 14044


Range of services offered by the Polymeric Material Design group

  • Tandem mixer line as a base for technology development and scale-up
  • Rubber extrusion to evaluate the processability of new rubber compounds
  • Incorporation of rubber recyclates into high value applications
  • Development of digitization concepts for rubber processing
  • Comprehensive characterization and mechanism-based optimization of rubber compounds in terms of reinforcement and dissipation
  • Multiscale characterization of the filler dispersion
  • Conceptual contributions to the development of sustainable rubber compounds (low abrasion and rolling resistance, high strain crystallization, etc.)
  • Mechanism-based optimization of rubber composites with regard to reinforcement and dissipation
  • Validation of the performance of novel components for rubber composites using laboratory methods
  • Multiscale characterization of the filler dispersion
  • Conception of sustainable rubber systems (low abrasion and rolling resistance, high strain crystallization)

Range of services of Polymer Processing

In the Polymer Processing department, the Fraunhofer Pilot Plant Center PAZ has extensive knowledge in all areas of polymer processing as well as in the characterization of structure feature relationships for thermoplastics, thermosets, elastomers and fiber composites. Our core competencies are in material, procedure and component development for long fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFT), continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites (TPC), highly filled plastics, and blends; while taking into special consideration the resulting material and component properties. One point of emphasis is the systematic evaluation of the influence of material systems and manufacturing conditions on the mechanical characteristics of unidirectional fiber, reinforced semi-finished products and multidirectional fiber reinforced laminates. In this way, statements about the performance and reliability of the produced synthetic materials can be made through the experimental characterization and numerical description of the materials behavior.

Polymer Processing research topics

The focus of the research topics is the micro- and mesostructure-based technology development for fiber-reinforced, thermoplastic-based lightweight structures.

The group of Thermoplastic Semi-Finished Fiber Composites researches and develops material systems and manufacturing processes for thermoplastic prepregs. On the material side, a variety of thermoplastic polymers, from polyolefins to technical thermoplastics and biopolymers, are processed. Reinforcing materials such as inorganic and organic fibers as well as natural fibers in short, long or endless form as well as a wide range of other additives are treated very intensively.

Particular attention is paid to the application-related development and optimization of unidirectional fiber-reinforced semi-finished products (UD tapes), which are processed into multi-layer laminates or semi-finished sandwich products. The systems for the production of UD tapes are available in tape widths of 50mm and 500mm. The modular structure enables the processing of various thermoplastic and fiber materials. Further process optimization steps such as an integrated plasma pre-treatment of the fibers for surface modification are possible. Specialized staff with many years of experience at the processing plants is available for joint development work with customers.

The focus of the group Thermoplastic Composite Parts is on the component and technology development for thermoplastic-based lightweight structures starting from fiber composite semi-finished products up to prototypical production. First of all, this includes the structural design appropriate to the load path by means of continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites. Efficient manufacturing concepts with the appropriate machine technology and series-ready hybrid technologies are developed and applied for the subsequent component manufacture. The entire development process is supported virtually by process and structure simulations. The materials considered are primarily unreinforced and filled thermoplastics or blends, short, long and endless reinforced thermoplastics (TPC) as well as thermoplastic hybrid composites and metal-TPC hybrid composites.

  • technology development and scale-up in the area of tape production and compounding of application specific composite materials
  • optimization of compounding processes, for example taking into consideration screw profiles and fiber addition locations
  • further development of the hybrid injection molding technique as well as research and optimization of the warm forming procedure of continuous fiber thermoplastics
  • appropriate composite based component design, design of the load, joints and function integration especially in hybrid composite structures
  • examinations of the influence of the gating system and molding parameters on reachable fiber length

Ivonne Jahn

Contact Press / Media

Dipl.-Ing. Ivonne Jahn

Head of department | Thermoplastic Semi-finished Fiber Composites

ValuePark® A 70
06258 Schkopau

Phone +49 345 5589-474

Fax +49 345 5589-101

Matthias Zscheyge

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Matthias Zscheyge

Head of department | High Performance Thermoplastics

ValuePark® A 70
06258 Schkopau

Phone +49 345 5589-475

Fax +49 345 5589-101

Mario Beiner

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr. Mario Beiner

Head of department | Polymeric Material Design

ValuePark® A 70
06258 Schkopau

Phone +49 345 5589-247

Fax +49 345 5589-101

Patrick Hirsch

Contact Press / Media

Dr.-Ing. Patrick Hirsch

Head of department | Sustainable Materials and Processes

Fraunhofer-Institut für Mikrostruktur von Werkstoffen und Systemen IMWS
Walter-Hülse-Straße 1
06120 Halle (Saale)

Phone +49 345 5589-264

Fax +49 345 5589-101