Laboratory Polymer Technologies (LKT)

The Plastics Engineering Laboratory focuses on developing products and methods which are holistic and plastic compatible by interlinking teaching, applied research and knowledge transfer into industry. This practice-oriented approach creates the sustainable basis for economic innovative strength.

As students develop their interdisciplinary subject-specific and methodological skills, the focus is on:

Plastics expertise:

Materials and compounding

  • Thermoplastics
  • Thermosetting plastics
  • Elastomers



  • Design of injection moulding dies
  • Digitised correction and approval process


Production methods

  • Injection moulding
  • Extrusion
  • Extrusion blow moulding
  • Thermoforming
  • Pressing
  • Welding


Sectors and products

  • Mechanical engineering
  • Automotive


Methodological skills:
Agile culture

  • Scrum
  • Design Thinking
  • Kanban



  • Products and tools e. g. structured light
  • Point cloud technology
  • Reverse engineering
  • CAD / CAE



  • Life Cycle Assessment LCA


Our work is currently focusing on:

  • “Thermally conductive plastics for use in aggressive media” ZIM research project
  • Compounding for electrically conductive/magnetisable thermoplastic compounds
  • Optimised approval process for moulded parts and tools by means of Point Cloud technology
  • Plastic-compatible design and dimensioning of products
  • Dynamic strength and fatigue strength of fibre-reinforced thermoplastics
  • Sustainability in the university’s Life Cycle Analysis Competence Centre
  • Agile project management by means of scrum and design thinking
  • Variothermal tempering of injection moulding dies (thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics)
  • Design and calculation of machine settings for the injection moulding process
  • Processing of cross-linking materials in the injection moulding process


Further fields of activity are:

  • Process optimisation, automation and process control of the processing methods: injection moulding, extrusion, extrusion blow moulding, thermoforming and pressing of thermosetting plastics
  • Simulation of injection moulding and extrusion processes
  • Damage analyses
  • Identification and testing of plastics
  • Welding of plastics

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Deckert
University of Applied Sciences Esslingen
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Poymer technologies
Kanalstrasse 33
73728 Esslingen am Neckar

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3361
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3361

weitere Ansprechpartner

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Guth

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3281
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3281

Johannes Schmid, M.Sc. (IWE)

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3427
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3427

Dennis Weißer, M.Sc.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3878
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3878

Dennis Mayer, M.Eng.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3424
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3424

Simon Heienbrock, M.Sc.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3878

Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3878

Elena Fischer, M.Sc.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3878

Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3878

Alexander Melzer-Bartsch, M.Sc.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3878

Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3878

Simone Groß

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3691

Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3691

Lena Stiehl, Dipl.-Ing.

Telefon: +49 (0)711 / 397-3872
Telefax: +49 (0)711 / 397-48 3872


The laboratory for plastics technology is equipped with a variety of modern manufacturing facilities, as well as state of the art testing and analysis facilities, in order to teach in a practical manner, to conduct applied research and to successfully carry out cooperative projects with industry. In particular, the focus is on interdisciplinary work.

The equipment at a glance:

For plastics processing:

  • Arburg 370 A injection molding machine with 600 kN clamping force.
  • Arburg Allrounder 420 C injection molding machine with 1300 kN clamping force
  • 2-component injection molding machine Arburg Allrounder 420C with 1000 kN clamping force
  • Demag IntElect 80/310 injection molding machine with 800 kN clamping force
  • ZSE18 twin-screw extruder made by Leistritz Extrusionstechnik
  • Pipe profile extrusion line IDE with 45 mm screw diameter
  • Extrusion blow molding line Hesta-Graham for component volumes up to max. 750 ccm
  • Thermoforming machine ILLIG, max. clamping frame size 680 x 500 mm
  • Thermoset press with 600 kN clamping force
  • Ultrasonic welding machine Telsonic with 750 N pressing force
  • Infrared thermo-video system FLIR

For mechanical tests:

  • Universal testing machine Zwick test force max. 10 kN and temperature chamber for temperatures up to max. 150°C
  • Impact pendulum for Charpy and Izod test work max. 50 J
  • Hardness tests: Ball indentation, Shore A and D (Frank, Zwick)
  • Determination of softening temperature according to VICAT in air (Frank)

For viscosity measurements:

  • Determination of melt flow index MVR and MFR (Göttfert)
  • determination of the length of the flow spiral under injection molding conditions

For thermal analysis:

  • Dynamic heat flow differential calorimetry (NETZSCH-DSC 214 Polyma) with low-temperature additive
  • Thermogravimetric analysis TGA (NETZSCH TG209 F1 Libra))
  • Moisture analyzer AQUATRAC from Brabender
  • Determination of the annealing residue

For CAD/CAE simulation

  • Injection molding simulation with SimaSoft
  • Injection molding simulation with AUTODESK MOLDFLOW AMI 2016
  • Star-CCM+
  • Ansys Workbench
  • Creo / Siemens NX / Autodesk Inventor
  • GaBi - LCA Software

For microscopic examinations:

  • Reflected and transmitted light microscope (up to 150x) with digital image analysis (Olympus)
  • Motorized rotary microtome (Leica)

For FT-IR spectrometer examinations:

  • Bruker Alpha-P infrared spectrometer with ATR facility.

Other facilities at the university:

  • Zeiss Accura coordinate measuring machine
  • Steinbichler strip light scanner
  • Scanning electron microscope SEM
  • Atomic Force Microscope AFM
  • Dynamic testing machines 

The laboratory exercises accompany and enhance the lectures in materials engineering and plastics processing. More detailed information can be found in the corresponding module descriptions of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.

The focus is on:


  • Materials engineering - Plastics
  • Production engineering


  • Application-oriented module in polymer engineering: design of injection moulding dies
  • Production methods, plastics technology


  • Lightweight construction materials – composites
  • Production methods - Plastics


  • Agile project workshop
  • Sustainability / Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)


  • Product Life Cycle Management with LCA specialisation
  • Composites


Students gain practical experience in the following four laboratories:

  • Production Engineering Laboratory (semester 1)
  • Materials Engineering Laboratory 1 (semester 1 or 2)
  • Plastics Processing Laboratory (semester 6)
  • Plastics Engineering Laboratory (semester 2 Faculty of Automotive Engineering)


A list of current research projects can be found here!


Applied research and the collaboration with and knowledge transfer to small and medium-sized industries are important tasks in the Plastics Engineering Laboratory. The specialist knowledge and the test equipment are available to all interested companies. Scientific investigations are conducted as part of final theses and projects.

Current research topics and projects:


Advanced training / seminars:

The customised seminars address the following topics:

  • LKT: Plastics engineering
  • Kistler: Cavity pressure measurement during injection moulding process
  • VDI: Damage analysis on elastomeric components
  • TAE: Product liability and warranty management in practice
  • LKT: Digitisation in plastics engineering
  • LKT: Agile project management/ design thinking
  • LKT: Machine settings for injection moulding processes


A selection of our industrial partners

Arburg, Loßburg
Bosch Kunststofftechnik, Waiblingen
Daimler AG, Stuttgart
ddm hopt + schuler, Rottweil
Festo, Esslingen
Gargiulo, Nehren
Hoerbiger-Origa, Filderstadt
Ide, Scharnhausen
Institut für Kunststoffprüfung und Kunststoffkunde (IKP), Stuttgart
Kärcher, Winnenden
Kessler, Stockach
Kick, Göppingen
Kistler, Ostfildern
Woodward GmbH, Stuttgart
Mahle-Filtertechnik, Stuttgart
Murrplastik, Oppenweiler
P.A.U.L., Balingen
Pretema, Niefern
Rexroth-Star, Schweinfurt
Roxan, Graben-Neudorf
Rusko Formen, Wernau
Schlegel Elektrokontakt, Dürmentingen
Stierlen, Rastatt
Strüber, Talheim
Sulo, Herford
ULO, Geislingen
Wilhelm Weber Werkzeugbau, Esslingen
Weinmayr, Wiesensteig
Zumtobel-Staff, Dornbirn (A)


Interested? Find out more! about our degree programmes