Tailor-made material for a wide variety of applications

Polyurethanes are suitable – probably more than any other class of materials – for an enormous range of applications thanks to the many possibilities for varying their processing properties and the properties of the finished part. Whether foamed, compact or fibre-reinforced, the properties of the parts can be adjusted at low densities from anything between elastic/flexible and brittle/hard. By combining different polyurethane materials, it is even possible to add together their respective properties. Polyurethanes are used in the automotive industry (e.g. interior trim, seat cushions, visible components), the furniture industry (cushions and mattresses), the building sector (insulating panels, profiles), the refrigeration industry (insulation) and also in the sport and clothing segment (shoe soles).

We carry out research in the field of polyurethane technology with the focus on the following aspects

  • Flexible and rigid PU foams
  • Compact parts of PU
  • Composite parts with a PU matrix
  • Relevant machine, mould and metering technology 

The research subjects we tackle are as varied as the polyurethanes themselves. They extend from reducing the use of health-damaging release agents and isocyanates, through aspects of material science such as improving the insulating and flame-retardant properties of rigid foams and developing processes for material analysis and testing for PU, to devising innovative processing methods for the combination of different materials and functions in a single part. 

Current research topics in the field of polyurethane technology

  • Release agent-free production of polyurethane parts using a mould release coating and interphase control
  • Inexpensive PU-moulded foams of low density through the physical foaming of PU with CO2 under gas counter-pressure
  • One-step production of sandwich RIM mouldings with a foamed core and a compact outer skin
  • Property-improved profiles through the simultaneous combination of PU pultrusion and thermoplastic extrusion
  • Production of composite parts with a PU matrix and a transparent visible surface suitable for series manufacture
  • Production of structural continuous fibre-reinforced hollow items of PU by the PIT-S-RIM process
  • Manufacture of continuous fibre-reinforced sandwich components, suitable for large-volume production, by process-integrated impregnation and foaming

Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Arne Böttcher

Head of department Composites and Polyurethane Technology +49 241 80 23884 arne.boettcher@ikv.rwth-aachen.de

We develop solutions for the plastic industry

For carrying out the practical side of research projects, we have an excellently equipped PU pilot plant with various high-pressure and low-pressure metering units and mould carriers.

A polyurethanes spray centre, a pultrusion unit and various mixing heads plus a variety of moulding tools and sensor systems are also available for research projects. 

We offer industry customers

  • Analysis of material and processing properties
  • Practical testing of new materials and material combinations
  • Industry consulting on technology and process optimisation
  • Joint development of new processes and technologies 

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