Dr. Andreas Klingler starts new DFG-funded Walter Benjamin position


On May 1st, Dr. Andreas Klingler has started his new DFG-funded Walter-Benjamin position at Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe. During the next two years, Andreas will focus on the special transition phenomenon inherent to the new polymer class of “Vitrimers” [1,2].

Vitrimers combine the malleable character of thermoplastics with the exceptional mechanical performance of highly cross-linked thermosets. The great advantage of Vitrimers is that even though they are cross-linked, i.e. their molecular state being far beyond a structural percolation threshold, they can be repaired, reshaped or even recycled. This is because of the presence of switchable molecular bonds. Hence, Vitrimers are not only sustainable, but also enable new perspectives in processing technologies, e.g. through repeated forming processes, as well as opportunities to enhance the lifetime and durability of polymer applications in service. However, from an engineering point of view, making use of the exciting Vitrimer properties currently lacks the understanding of the underlying physical and physiochemical mechanisms. This is even more important in the case of Vitrimer-based composite materials when additional physical and chemical interactions come into play, e.g. between fibers and a Vitrimer matrix. The goal of this research project is to contribute to a better understanding of Vitrimers as sustainable polymer and polymer composite solutions.

The position is 100% funded by the German Research Foundation (Project number: 521902629).

More information is available at:  https://sites.google.com/view/andreas-klingler

The Walter Benjamin Programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) enables researchers in the postdoctoral training phase to independently conduct their own research project at a location of their choice. By securing funding for their own research project, particularly qualified postdoctoral researchers pave the way for the next stages of their increasingly independent research career and exercise autonomy. The programme thus promotes early research careers with the aim of fostering the mobility and thematic development that are crucial in this career phase. (Source: https://www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/programmes/individual/walter_benjamin/index.html)

[1] Montarnal, D., M. Capelot, F. Tournilhac, und L. Leibler. „Silica-Like Malleable Materials from Permanent Organic Networks“. Science 334, Nr. 6058 (18. November 2011): 965–68. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1212648.

[2] Alabiso, Walter, und Sandra Schlögl. „The Impact of Vitrimers on the Industry of the Future: Chemistry, Properties and Sustainable Forward-Looking Applications“. Polymers 12, Nr. 8 (26. Juli 2020): 1660. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12081660.

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