Plastics Engineering Laboratory (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

 

Tools

  • 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

 

Digitisation

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

 

Sustainability

  • 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. Wolfgang Guth
Hochschule Esslingen
Fakultät Maschinenbau
Labor für Kunststofftechnik
Kanalstraße 33
73728 Esslingen am Neckar

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

weitere Ansprechpartner

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Deckert

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

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

The Plastics Engineering Laboratory is equipped with a large variety of modern production equipment, as well as state-of-the-art testing and analytical equipment to make the teaching as realistic as possible, enable applied research to be conducted and successfully carry out collaborative projects with industry. The focus here is particularly on interdisciplinary work.

An overview of the equipment:

for plastics processing:

  • ZSE18 twin-screw extruder from Leistritz Extrusionstechnik
  • Arburg Allrounder 420 C injection moulding machine with 1,300 kN clamping force
  • Arburg Allrounder 420C 2-component injection moulding machine with 1,000 kN
    clamping force
  • Demag IntElect 80/310 injection moulding machine with 800 kN clamping force
  • IDE tube profile extrusion machine with 45 mm screw diameter
  • Hesta-Graham extrusion blow moulding machine for component volumes up to 750 ccm max.
  • ILLIG thermoforming machine, max. pressure box size 680 x 500 mm
  • Thermosetting press with 600 kN clamping force
  • Telsonic ultrasonic welder with 750 N contact force
  • FLIR infrared thermal imaging video system
  • Infrarot Thermo-Video-System FLIR

 

for mechanical tests:

  • Zwick universal testing machine, test force max. 10 kN and tempering chamber for temperatures up to 150°C max.
  • Notched bar pendulum impact tester for Charpy and Izod, test energy max. 50 J
  • Hardness testing: ball indentation test, Shore A and D (Frank, Zwick)
  • Determination of VICAT softening temperature in air (Frank)

 

for viscosity measurements:

  • Determination of the MVR and MFR Melt Flow Index (Göttfert)
  • Determination of the length of the flow spiral under injection moulding conditions

 

for thermal analysis:

  • Dynamic heat-flux differential scanning calorimeter (Netzsch-DSC 200) with low temperature add-on
  • Determination of the ignition residue

 

for CAD/CAE simulation

  • Injection moulding simulation with AUTODESK MOLDFLOW AMI 2016
  • Ansys Workbench
  • Creo / Siemens NX
  • GaBi – LCA software

 

for microscopic analyses:

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

 

for FT-IR spectrometer analyses:

  • Bruker Alpha-P infrared spectrometer with ATR accessory

 

Other equipment at the university:

  • Zeiss Accura coordinate measurement machine
  • Steinbichler structured light scanner
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • 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:

MBB1:

  • Materials engineering - Plastics
  • Production engineering


MBB6:

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


RMM1:

  • Lightweight construction materials – composites
  • Production methods - Plastics


RMM2:

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


DDM2:

  • 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)

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:

  • Thermally conductive plastics
  • Simulation of extrusion processes
  • Digitisation in plastics engineering
  • Component dimensioning/ fatigue strength
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Variothermal tempering of injection moulding dies
  • Machine parameters in the injection moulding process of thermosetting plastics

 

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)

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