The German Institute for Polymers (Deutsches Kunststoff-Institut, DKI) answers questions raised by producers and users of synthetic materials from A to Z, from the idea to the product. The DKI employs about 100 members of staff and works in the field of research and development.
The services of DKI encompass:
• development of materials and techniques
• chemical analysis
• mechanical tests
• physical characterization
• production of samples and small units
• damage analysis
Experience in chemical synthesis and morphological design as well as in processing are prerequisites for research and development of modern polymers and polymer systems with an optimised performance. Consequently, an interdisciplinary approach necessary to fulfil these requirements has been practiced by the chemistry department at DKI for years. Problems arising in industries are dealt with and solved. Manufacturing processes for modified and innovative products are developed which can readily be implemented in factories. Basic research is often necessary but is not an end in itself. Our aim is always to produce a competitive product.
To develop modern tailor-made but still cost-efficient materials, known polymers have to be modified. A specific product development is only possible with an efficient process and product analysis, as offered by DKI. Apart from the classical standard analytical methods, new unconventional methods (for example method combinations) are used – and if required, specially adjusted for the customer’s needs.
The macroscopic properties and therefore also the application of potential plastics are determined by the chemical structure and supermolecular structure. The physics department focuses on research concerning an analysis of the structure-property-relationships of polymers to investigate the unrecognised possibilities for material improvement. Such improvements can consist in changes in the chemical composition or the processing conditions. The department has a broad spectrum of physical methods available for the acquisition of experimental data.
The properties of polymer components are also determined by the processing conditions as well as by the material and its treatment. The processes compounding and injection moulding have been investigated for years at the DKI. They have been optimised for many specific applications including minimisation of wear in the polymer processing machine. In addition to standard methods, specific solutions are often developed and applied to satisfy particular requirements.