The plastics industry in NRW
Advances in plastics technology exert an influence on all sectors of industry, frequently setting chains of innovation in motion and initiating significant optimization processes. The plastics industry in North Rhine Westphalia is unique within Europe to the extent that it encompasses the entire value chain. The spectrum includes small and medium-sized plastics processors, plastics machinery manufacturers, service providers, as well as major international plastics producers. The plastics industry depends heavily on scientific research and hence reaps outstanding benefits in NRW – as evidenced in the presence of 70 universities and colleges, renowned research institutes and in-company research departments.
High-performance plastics made in NRW
In North Rhine-Westphalia science and industry have developed ground-breaking technologies in the area of energy efficiency and the conservation of natural resources. For example, Covestro Deutschland and its partners are investigating ways of converting waste carbon dioxide into high-quality plastics. In so doing, this harmful greenhouse gas can replace petroleum and provide a valuable resource for sustainable growth. Other projects center on the optimization of plastic materials. The DWI Institute for Interactive Materials Research at RWTH Aachen University has transferred the special frictional properties of lizard skin to plastic surfaces. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) have likewise taken nature as their model and developed self-repairing polymers based on rubber trees.
The major plastics manufacturing/processing companies, recycler and mechanical engineering enterprises in NRW include the following:
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