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.
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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.
Plastic-manufacturing/processing companies in NRW
A native of Cologne is known by his love of Kölsch (beer), carnival and of course the cathedral. The sight of the two cathedral spires enthrals not just the natives but 6 million visitors from all corners of the world annually, making the Cologne Cathedral the most visited landmark of Germany.
When completed, in 1880, the "High Cathedral of Cologne" was the biggest building in the world. At 157.38 m, the Gothic cathedral is currently Europe’s second-tallest church building. The architecture kept to the mediaeval plans for the most part, despite 600 years of construction. The West face of the cathedral, including the two towers, has a surface area of 7,100 m² making it the largest church facade in the world.
A European masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The reliquary of the remains of The Three Kings inside the Catholic church draws scores of visitors, as does the stained glass in the southern transept window, created by the famous German artist, Gerhard Richter, in 2007.