Interview with Johnannes Ziegler from Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research

Ahead of his presentation at Silicone Elastomers World Summit 2018. Johannes Ziegler spoke to us about the future of the elastomers industry.

Q. Can you provide a brief summary of what your presentation will cover at the Silicone Elastomers World Summit?
Using electro active polymers (EAP) for energy harvesting is a novel way of converting motion energy into electrical energy. Silicone rubber has a high durability against mechanical, electrical and environmental stress and so fits perfectly for this application. Therefore we developed the rubber material and built up the generator film by using different processing methods. Finally we tested the composite by using a unique fatigue test, especially developed for this application.

Q. Why is this research important and what can delegates expect to take away from your talk?
For this specific application we had to develop unique rubber formulation and characterise the material to see, if it fulfils the high mechanical and electrical stresses during lifetime of the generator. The audience will get an insight into the possibilities Fraunhofer Institute can offer in the field of development, processing and testing of silicone rubber.

Q. What innovations are you most excited about in the industry right now?
I am mostly curious about potential and future developments of silicone rubber and the use of it inside of smart systems, for example as actuators or mechanical sensors.            

Q. What are you most looking forward to hearing about at the summit?
As a research institute, we are interested in the issues of the rubber industry in the processing of silicone rubber. Together with the customer, we can analyse the problems and solve it.