Your point of contact for polymers

In accordance with the core competencies of the Montanuniversität Leoben, the Department of Polymer Engineering and Science integrates all necessary special fields along the value chain “from the material to the final product”. They range from chemistry of polymeric materials via material science and testing of polymers, the designing of plastics and composite materials, the polymer processing to the application of plastic components and recycling. Consequently, the research topics addressed by the department are equally wide-ranging.

Research Objectives

Overview of the research carried out at the Department of Polymer Engineering and Science 

Chemistry of Polymeric Materials

Chemistry of Polymeric Materials
Head of chair: Prof. Wolfgang Kern


  • Photochemistry of polymers (synthesis and photopatterning of UV reactive polymers, light-induced polymerization, optical structures)
  • Christian Doppler Laboratory for Functional and Polymer based Inkjet Inks
  • Cross-linked polymers (thermal and radiation assisted cross-linking / curing of polymers and composite materials)
  • Surface modification and activation of polymers (plasma, corona, UV; functional coatings)
  • Functionalization of inorganic surfaces such as oxidic fillers, fibres, and metals with organic groups (self-assembled monolayers, silane coatings etc.)
  • Molecular characterization of polymers (size exclusion chromatography, fractionation techniques, spectroscopy etc.)

Designing Plastics and Composite Materials

Designing Plastics and Composite Materials
Head of chair: Prof. Clara Schuecker


  • Material modelling and failure analysis

    • also for 3D textile reinforcements
    • new fibre and matrix materials
    • consideration of 3-axial stress states
    • standardization of analysis methods

  • Multi-scale modelling of complex structures
  • Realistic structural analysis under complex loading
  • Material-appropriate structural design and optimization
  • Fatigue behaviour of composite materials

Polymer Processing

Polymer Processing
Head of chair: Prof. Clemens Holzer


Injection Moulding

  • Sensor and actuator technologies in moulds
  • Quality management
  • Micro- and nano-structured surfaces
  • Measuring of demoulding forces
  • High temperature thermoplasts


  • Multilayer extrusion
  • Foaming
  • Optimization of processes and material for 3D printing
  • Development of control strategies for high quality


  • Development of tailor-made compounds
  • Halogen-free flame retardants
  • Recycling of technical thermoplasts
  • Biopolymers


  • Simulation in injection moulding, extrusion, thermoforming
  • Importance of material data on simulation results
  • Modelling of screws, dies, and mixing elements

Material Data Measurement

  • Rheological and thermodynamical data for FEM-simulations
  • Rheology of highly filled polymer systems
  • Characterization of the flow behaviour of PIM-feedstock

Injection Moulding of Polymers

Injection Moulding of Polymers
Head of chair: Prof. Walter Friesenbichler


  • Systematic design of injection moulded parts and systems with special focus on simulation techniques
  • Injection moulding simulation for thermoplastics and rubber compounds
  • Process optimization with focus on robust process control
  • Injection moulding compounding and material development of polymer nanocomposites
  • Rapid heat cycle moulding
  • Rubber injection moulding
  • Expansion injection moulding
  • Practical viscosity measurement of rubber compounds
  • Wetting behaviour of polymer melts
  • Characterization of surface topography and visual appearance (in cooperation with PCCL)
  • Friction and wear analysis on plastics tool steels

Processing of Composites

Processing of Composites
Head of chair: Prof. Ralf Schledjewski


  • Process development
  • Relationship process - material structure - component properties
  • Process modelling and process simulation
  • Process automation
  • Process optimization
  • Economic assessment

Material Science and Testing of Polymers

Material Science and Testing of Polymers
Head of chair: Prof. Gerald Pinter


  • Establishing structure-property-performance relationships in polymeric materials on all size scales (molecular-nano-micro-meso-macro) with the goal of material optimization and development
  • Modelling and prediction of structural and functional properties with the goal of designing and optimizing components
  • Morphology and structural analysis (microscopy, thermo-analysis, spectroscopy, X-ray analysis)
  • Mechanical behaviour under complex loading (creep, crash and impact, fatigue, component testing, fracture mechanics)
  • Thermal and optical properties
  • Ageing (temperature, environment)
  • Material laws, failure criteria, life-time modelling