Institut für Kunststofftechnik (IKT), University of Stuttgart

Member since: 03/2020

Active in: WG Plastics

Institut für Kunststofftechnik (IKT), University of Stuttgart

The Institute for Plastics Engineering (Institut für Kunststofftechnik – IKT) is one of the oldest institutes of its kind and covers the entire spectrum of plastics engineering, from materials engineering to processing technology (mechanical and process engineering) and product engineering. The Institute for Plastics Science and Plastic Inspection (Institut für Kunststoffkunde und Kunststoffprüfung – IKP) and the Institute for Plastics Engineering (IKT) were both founded in the 1960s. In 2010 they were united under the auspices of the University of Stuttgart and entrusted to the capable hands of Professor Christian Bonten. In 2014, the university authorities provided a further boost to the institute by creating another senior professorial (W3) post for Professor Marc Kreutzbruck. The IKT’s research activities cover the full length of the plastics value creation chain.

The amount of plastic being used (and wasted) is continuing to rise. When combined with prevailing low recycling rates, this raises questions as to how and whether we should be using plastics in the future. To respond to these questions, we need to come up cross-cutting initiatives and involve the widest possible range of interest groups. As a research institute specialising in the treatment and processing of plastics, this is one area where the IKT can help. By networking with various interest groups and contributing specific information we can achieve constant, steady improvement.

For the IKT, the circular economy means focusing on ensuring plastics are used sensibly and setting new standards, both for the material itself and the way it is processed. These new standards will bring with them the potential for new material flows and an opportunity to establish alternative, independent sources of raw materials. Changing how people see plastic can help to them to recognise its potential and become more aware of its value, allowing us to move away from its current image.