A competent partner for the plastics industry and an affiliated institute of RWTH Aachen University

The Institute for Plastics Processing is an innovation driver and research partner for the plastics sector. Extensive know-how and many years of experience in all areas of plastics technology put IKV in a unique position in Germany. The possibilities for cooperation with IKV are many and varied. In publicly funded projects of Industrial Joint Research, and in bilateral industry research through IKV services such as consulting, plastics testing, damage analysis etc., our partners benefit from IKV's expertise and know-how. The head of the Institute and holder of the Chair, Professor Christian Hopmann, summarises IKV's claim as follows:

"However pleased we may be about new scientific findings, we are only really happy when they are utilised in practice."

As part of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, IKV is embedded in RWTH and responsible for the academic training of young engineers of plastics technology. In interdisciplinary cooperation with other institutes, IKV carries out basic research, which often forms the cornerstone for further industrial joint research. IKV's research focuses on the key topics of additive manufacturing, circular economy, plastics industry 4.0 and lightweight technologies. In its research projects, IKV looks not only at individual processes and products, but also at the entire process chains as well as integrated processes and products. Through their integrative approach to part design, materials technology and plastics processing, IKV scientists achieve optimum solutions in terms of the research and also to the benefit of its industrial partners. 

Relevant sectors of industry

Numerous research results have been taken on board and put to use by industry, leading to many valuable innovations in plastics processing. IKV research is directed at a wide variety of different plastics applications:

  • Automotive production and its supplier industry
  • Construction and household
  • Electrical & electronics
  • Aviation
  • Machine manufacturing
  • Medical technology & life sciences
  • Micro technology & sensor systems
  • Surface technology
  • Optical & precision engineering
  • Sports & leisure
  • Packaging
  • Mould and tooling manufacture

Technical equipment

Each one of IKV's research departments has its own pilot plant or laboratory, which is equipped with highly modern machines and equipment made available by industry to IKV for research purposes. On a total area of around 9,000 sqm, more than 300 people at IKV teach, research, learn and live the plastics technology of the future.