Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Material Research (IFAM) in Bremen, Germany, have designed a new composite material for components made of plastic that has sensory properties.
The new composite material is a blend of plastic and metal, a polymer-metal composite. The new material is easily processed, lightweight, and conducts current and heat very well due to the high proportions of metal.
The exceptional sensory properties of this new polymer-metal composite are due to a special mixing technique and the high proportion of metal.
Arne Haberkorn, the project manager for composite developments at IFAM said, "We reach a metallic filling proportion of as much as 90% in weight in this composite when needed,"
The challenge for Haberkorn and his associates was to come up with a technique that would evenly process different metallic substances in liquid plastic, and this new development is applicable to a wide range of synthetic materials.
Haberkorn said "this means we can combine our polymer-metal composite material with various synthetics and process them into a wide range of component parts. That includes not only solid and heat-resistant, but also soft-flexible workpieces."
Potential industry functions for this new composite material with extraordinary sensory capabilities are being explored.