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Macromolecular Science meets NMB GmbH

Stu­dents and pro­fes­sors of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Mac­romo­lecu­lar Sci­ence” visit­ed the Neue Mate­rialien Bay­reuth GmbH (NMB). The re­search insti­tute is known for its inno­vative power in the field of mate­rials re­search and pro­cess de­velopment. The stu­dents were able to gain an im­pres­sion of the top­ics, the ap­proach and the prepa­ration of com­po­nents on an indus­trial scale on site.

What research on an industrial scale means

Uni­versi­ty re­search is often lim­ited to small quan­tities on a labor­atory scale. Neue Mate­rialien Bay­reuth GmbH (NMB), on the other hand, deals with the pro­cess­ing of large quan­tities and the pro­cess de­velopment into inno­vative com­po­nents com­posed of poly­mers or met­als. For this pur­pose, dedi­cated sta­te-of-the-art manu­fac­turing equipment suita­ble for an indus­trial scale is used. This infra­struc­ture makes the NMB par­ticu­larly attrac­tive as an indus­trial coop­era­tion part­ner for mate­rial pro­cess­ing com­panies in the auto­mo­tive and aero­space sec­tors, among oth­ers. The cul­ture of inno­vation is also im­pres­sively re­flect­ed by an affili­ated start-up center in which mate­rial sci­ence com­panies are ac­tive.

Dur­ing the event, Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt, spokesper­son of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Mac­romo­lecu­lar Sci­ence”, talked about the ori­gins of the NMB and its signif­icance in poly­mer re­search for Bay­reuth. Prof. Hol­ger Ruckdäschel, gen­eral man­ager of the NMB, not only ex­plained the struc­tures and goals of the NMB, but also gave an in­sight into what makes it suc­cess­ful and inno­va­tive. He also demonstrated this with a num­ber of dif­ferent pro­jects in close coop­era­tion with indus­trial part­ners.

3D printing and particle foams

Dur­ing a guid­ed tour at the Neue Mate­rialien Bay­reuth GmbH, the partic­ipants were able to get a more de­tailed pic­ture of the pilot plants and large-scale plants. Many of the stu­dents found the size of the plants, some of which are sever­al me­ters high and up to 25 m long, im­pres­sive and fasci­nating. Fi­nally, some stu­dents will have to deal with such large-scale sys­tems in the future after suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing their stud­ies. The func­tional prin­ciple and pur­pose of the ma­chin­eries were ex­plained in detail in­clud­ing, for ex­am­ple, large-scale 3D print­ing pro­cess­es, inno­vative parti­cle foam­ing pro­cesses and ther­moforming pro­cess­es. Equally im­pres­sive were the com­po­nents that were manu­fac­tured using these pro­cess­es. The light­weight con­struc­tion, sound, look and feel of the poly­mer and metal com­po­nents par­tially sur­prised the partic­ipants.


As part of this event, Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt and Prof. Hol­ger Ruckdäschel also hand­ed over the certif­icates to the 2023 grad­uates of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Mac­romo­lecu­lar Sci­ence”. Af­ter­wards, all partic­ipants had the op­por­tunity to ex­change ide­as and make con­tacts at the even­ing get-together.

Text: Klaus Kreger, Elite Graduate Program "Macromolecular Science"