Intelligent films for demanding customers

The magazine "Unternehmen Region" published by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) deals with the topics of innovation, research and entrepreneurial spirit in the new federal states. The magazine comes out three times a year in the second half of the year. The first edition 01/2017 came out at the end of August, and dealt with the current research topics of POLIFILM amongst other things. The range of uses of modern plastic films is very diverse today. For example they make manufacturing processes easier, transport routes more secure or are an essential part of modern agriculture.

"We have demanding customers who require intelligent films to process intelligent products", says Maria Heinze, Project Manager R&D at POLIFILM EXTRUSION GmbH. In the area of agriculture, for example, these are biodegradable films, which last precisely until the end of the season, and then decompose as quickly as possible. Laborious collection and disposal will no longer be necessary in future.

Other "intelligent films" are based on nature's example. In a laboratory environment, surface structures like the leaves of the lotus plant, or gecko's feet, were able to be transferred very successfully to film surfaces. The challenge is transferring this to large scale production. "Stretch films could become adhesive without additives, and at the same time be easier to roll out. Coatings and printing inks could last longer. In addition, a direct surface finish without additives would improve the recyclability of the film", continues Maria Heinze.

POLIFILM is an important hub in the central German expert network for the topic of plastics. The Institut für Kunststofftechnologie und Recycling (IKTR) [Institute for plastics technology and recycling] in Weißandt-Gölzau, the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of materials and Systems (IMWS) in Halle are in the immediate proximity of the Weißandt-Gölzau location. We collaborate very closely in the scope of selected research projects. You can find further information about this in the magazine "Unternehmen Region" issue 01/2017.

Pictures: Thilo Schoch