DIK - Main research topics

Elastomer Chemistry

  • Characterization of multiphase systems (morphology)
  • Polymeric fillers
  • Rubber/ filler interaction
  • Crosslinking
  • Aging mechanisms
  • Modification of fillers and polymers
  • Nanomaterials (synthetic and bio-based)
  • Leachables and extractables out of polymer materials
  • Elastomer emissions and environmental exposure
  • Transport processes in polymers for gases and fluids in elastomers

Elastomer Physics

  • Lifetime prediction of compounds unter dynamic load
  • Fracture mechanics and fatigue
  • Contact mechanics and friction
  • Special investigations of material homogeneity with X-ray tomography (CT)
  • Acoustic damping and friction properties
  • Dynamical mechanical properties up to high frequencies
  • Magnetorheological elastomers for sensor technology and adaptive systems

Material Concepts and Modeling

  • Friction and wear
  • Polymer networks and blends
  • Fillers and reinforcement
  • Dielectric spectroscopy
  • Dynamic-mechanical analysis
  • Rheology of rubber melts

Simulation and Continuum Mechanics

  • Problem based material models for e.g. filled elastomers, thermoplasts, TPVs, foamed materials (under consideration of the Mullins and Payne effect, material damping and anisotropy)
  • Implementation of novel material model concepts in commercial FE programs e.g. Abaqus, MSC.Marc
  • Parameter identification via homogeneous and inhomogeneous load distribution
  • Simulation of fatigue and ageing processes
  • Material damping and anisotropy

Processing Methodology

  • Additive manufacturing of elastomer parts based on filled rubber compounds
  • Direct bonding of 2-component parts using 2K-injection moulding
  • Thermally optimized rubber injection moulding
  • Thermoplastic elastomers (TPVs) based on dynamic vulcanization processes
  • Investigation of mixing efficiency regarding distributive mixing using Laser-Induced-Breakdown-Spectroscopy
  • Recycling strategies / devulcanization of rubber powder

Materials Development and Testing

  • Development of new materials
  • Development of measuring methods
  • Physical testing as per standardized methods
  • Characterization of the distribution of fillers in rubber compounds
  • Vulcanization kinetics
  • Influence of polymer and filler structure on processing
  • Definition of quality characteristics of new raw materials
  • Determination of aging behavior of elastomers under thermal and medial as well as dynamic load, with particular attention given requirements specific to the automotive industry