Investigations on molding processability of natural fibre reinforced biopolymers

Université Libre de BruxellesInstitute:

Chemnitz University of Technology,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Plastics Technology (IMK),


Reichenhainer Straße 70
09126 Chemnitz, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)371-531-37811
e-mail: slk(at)

Project leader:

Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Nendel (Wolfgang.nendel(at)

Responsible co-worker:

Dipl.-Ing. Robert Stelzer (robert.stelzer(at)


The Professorship of Lightweight Structures and Plastics Processing (SLK) acts as a connective link between fundamental research and industrial application. We mainly work externally funded in close cooperation with manufacturing companies and research institutions. In 2009 our team counts a total of 65 scientific, technical and clerical staff members.

Our research activities are directed towards lightweight design with the focus on processing of fibre and fabric reinforced polymer materials. We develop technological solutions suitable for series production of components and assemblies based on recent material and design concepts. That covers construction as well as modelling, simulation and testing of materials and structures. Furthermore, we solve all problems regarding the manufacturing of structural components in terms of materials handling, construction of special purpose machines, optimisation of process parameters and tool manufacture.

The institutes’ facilities comprise well equipped workshops with machinery for mechanical treatment, compounding, injection and compression moulding as well as numerous experimental rigs for the handling and preparation of reinforced structures. Upon that, there are laboratories for materials testing and analysis.

Relevant to the ERA-IB project, our intention is to investigate rheological properties and process-ability of the modified natural fibre reinforced biopolymers. Therefore, it is planned to run a series of tests in order to determine characteristic values for viscosity and parameters for injection moulding. We will cooperate with Dresden University of Technology (TUD) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT), which prepare the fibres and compounds, respectively.

Subsequent to the development of process-able feedstock compositions, we will produce standard test samples and medium scale prototypes from the new material through an optimised injection moulding process. The moulded samples will be tested for our records and provided to other project partners for their specific investigations.

The properties of the modified lignin materials are supposed to be compared with those of state of the art lignocellulosic-thermoplastics as well as natural fibre filled polypropylene composites.

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