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

  • Analysis of the potential of CO2-based polyols for polyurethane mouldings

  • Production of inexpensive low-density polyurethane moulded foams by physical foaming of PU with CO2 under gas counterpressure
  • Adaptive mould technology for small-series production of PU insulation components
  • Increased efficiency in the setting-up and error elimination of PU RIM processes through sensor-based process monitoring
  • Inexpensive and energy-efficient production of PU mouldings through dry demoulding
  • Production of structural continuous fibre-reinforced hollow articles of PU in the PIT-S-RIM process
  • Material characterisation of highly reactive resins under near-process conditions
  • Property-improved profiles through simultaneous combination of PU pultrusion and thermoplastic extrusion

Dr.-Ing. Dominik Foerges

Head of department Composites and Polyurethane Technology +49 241 80 23884 dominik.foerges@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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