The Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL) is a collaborative research institute focusing on polymer science and technology. Hereby, the main focal points are polymer based, functional and structural materials as well as production and processing technologies. These are intended as the basis for future innovations in a wide range of applications.
The PCCL-K1 has established itself as an "Austrian Centre of Excellence". The declared goal for the coming years is to further evolve to an internationally recognised player with high visibility in selected areas of plastics technology and polymer sciences. PCCL is supported by the scientific expertise of three Austrian universities (MU Leoben, TU Graz, TU Vienna), of several international research partners (e.g. TU Munich, Politecnico di Torino, Czech Academy of Sciences, University of Budapest) as well as of the technological and market knowhow of its 50 partner enterprises and the skills of the 122 employees.
The competence centre combines the high demand in the plastics industry for the development and establishment of pre-competitive research activities for the implementation of existing market potentials with the scientific ambitions of an internationally recognised research programme. New and strategic research focuses concerning lightweight construction, such as frontal polymerisation in composite structures as well as soluble and reusable resin and adhesive systems, have been added to PCCL‘s R&D programme. Environmentally compatible polymers, bio-based fibre composites and the recycling of polymers are significant future research topics, not only in the PCCL‘s lightweight construction projects. In this context, PCCL’s contribution is essential to the circular economy and ecological compatibility of plastics.
Modelling and simulation approaches are applied in all areas, for example, in the efficient processing of elastomers and dielectric reactive resin, in predicting the mechanical properties of polymers and composites, and in fracture mechanics approaches. Furthermore, projects on the use of polymeric components in photovoltaic modules also contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals.
In 2020, the PCCL and its partners additionally started working on both of the COMET modules approved by the FFG. Within the framework of these COMET two modules, institutes of the MU Leoben are involved as research partners. The COMET "CHEMITECTURE" module (Digital materials for a personalised world – Artificial engineering of polymers along the whole value chain) targets 3D printing of individually functionalised parts. Especially in this project, PCCL bridges the gap between the chemistry of functional materials at the molecular level and the architecture of additively manufactured polymers at the macroscopic level.
Polymers for hydrogen technology are the topic of the COMET "Polymers 4 Hydrogen - Decarbonizing of energy infrastructure using novel polymers" module. The PCCL is developing polymeric materials and sealing solutions for the use under high hydrogen pressure (up to 1,000 bar) and in extreme application conditions, thereby turning visionary applications in hydrogen technology into reality. Following an interdisciplinary approach with topics ranging from polymer chemistry and polymer processing to the characterisation and simulation of material behaviour, the PCCL is taking a pioneering role here. Since its foundation in 2002, PCCL’s employees have published 453 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. Moreover, 15 patents have been awarded to PCCL. The current workforce of 122 employees generates an annual turnover of nearly eleven million Euros.
Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH