Polymer Analytics and Polymer Assessment

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Thermogravimetric analysis: determination of mass or mass change of a sample of PV encapsulation materials as a function of time and temperature.

We offer comprehensive thermo-mechanical and chemical analysis of polymer materials, especially films. Our customers are polymer manufacturer or all of polymer users.
Thanks to the excellent equipment of the polymer laboratory, we are able to determine all common material parameters and fully investigate the material behavior. The data obtained can be used as input parameters for the creation of FEM simulations. In this way, your component or material can be modelled as a so-called "digital twin" and reliable predictions can be made for various load cases.

A special service is the processing of custumer materials by different techniques of lamination.

Our special focus is on the investigation of gas permeation through barrier films and membranes. In addition to commercial equipment, we also use in-house methods. Thus, a multitude of gases and gas mixtures can be analyzed, even simultaneously. Otherwise difficult to access material values, such as diffusion coefficients, can be reliably and reproducibly determined with our methods.

Depending on customer requirements, we offer standardized order analyses as well as complex cause and behavior analyses of polymer materials. In addition to individual orders, we also carry out extensive research and development projects with you.

Our research facility is certified according to DIN ISO 9001.

Services

  • Comprehensive characterization of polymer materials in our modern analytical laboratory (DSC, TGA, rheology, DMA, mechanical testing, TMA, FTIR, UV-Vis, TGA-FTIR, WVTR, Karl Fischer titration, Yellowness Index, extraction)
  • Creation of master curves (TTS; time-temperature superposition and FEM material models)
  • Ageing of polymers due to the influences of temperature, thermal cycling, humidity and UV radiation
  • Determination of barrier properties of e.g. foils or membranes for various gases and gas mixtures (H2O, O2, H2S, CO2, etc.) as well as volatile liquids (e.g. acetic acid). Calculation of the diffusion parameters from the experimental data.
  • Lamination of e.g. solar modules or laminated safety glass with large formats (up to 220x260 cm) or 3-dimensional structures (up to 30 cm pitch).
  • Production of laminate test specimens and investigation of adhesion behaviour (peel tests)

Examples

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Helium Transmission.

A high barrier effect, especially against water, is an essential quality feature of films for a wide range of applications. The water vapour transmission (WVTR) serves as a measure for this barrier property. As an alternative, we have an apparatus for quantifying helium transmission. This shortens the measurement time from approx. 24 hours to less than 1 hour. The transmission of other gases or gas mixtures (e.g. hydrogen sulphide) can also be determined in this way. These measurements serve as a basis for the calculation of diffusion coefficients..

Schulze, S.-H.; Ehrich, C.; Meitzner, R.; Pander, M. Prog. Photovoltaics Res. Appl. 2017, 25, 1051

© Fraunhofer CSP

Matthias Schak and Michael Wendt while equipping the 3D vacuum laminator.

With the 3D laminator from SM Innotech, laminates up to 120x220 cm can be produced by heating the upper and/or lower heating plate. The special: The laminator also allows an overall height of 30 cm in the 3rd dimension. This allows complex spatial structures to be produced by lamination.

The thermally activated spatial cross-linking of EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer) during the lamination of solar modules or laminated safety glass represents a decisive process step. The mechanical properties of EVA and EVA glass adhesion can be massively influenced by the choice of parameters. Incompletely converted crosslinkers (an organic peroxide) and remaining linear EVA chains (gel content) also have an influence on the long-term properties of the composite. We are able to reliably determine the kinetics of the crosslinking reaction by means of dynamic differential calorimetry (DSC). By supplementary tests with one of our laminators the laboratory results can be scaled to technical equipment.

Ehrich, C.; Schulze, S.-H. News Analytik 2011, 1.