Durability, reliability and service life time of polymers are key factors in many technical applications. Exact knowledge of chemical and physical aging processes during real service conditions, which lead to a deterioration or change of relevant material properties, is essential in terms of quality management, product safety as well as product warranty.
A special case are polymers used in solar energy applications, such as photovoltaics or solar thermal energy production, where lifetimes of 20 years and more are required. The emphasis within this field of research is on investigating long-term stability and failure mechanisms of the polymers being used, and the development and qualification of new material candidates in accordance with the requirement profile.
The PCCL Aging Behavior of Polymers research group focuses on the following activities:
Analysis of the load situation of polymeric components during processing and service life and specification of internal and external stress factors and subsequent derivation and implementation of suitable accelerated aging tests
- Definition of appropriate quality and degradation indicators based on requirement profiles and desired functionalities of the polymeric materials and components
- Method development and precision measurements of functional properties
- Establishment of structure-processing-property-performance correlations
- Guidelines for the optimization of materials, processes, and final products