Institute for Recycling, Ostfalia

Since its foundation in 1991, the Institute for Recycling developed to one of the strongest research institutes at University of Applied Sciences Ostfalia. The focus is on recycling of complex composite materials and plastics technology. For practical research and tests, we have an approximately 1000 m² sized laboratory area with modern machines at disposal in Wolfsburg.

The institute consists of 18 persons: five professors, three teachers, eight scientific and two technical employees. In 1994, Prof. Dr.-Ing. A. Schmiemann joined the institute. Today, he leads the Institute for Recycling. In the coming years, we will develop ourselves further, pick up new trends and do research and education at the frontiers of knowledge. As part of this development, we transfer our expertise from the familiar topic of plastics technology to space technology – a rather new research area for us. Prof. Dr.-Ing. A. Schmiemann and Eric Homey, B.Sc. are part of this transformation in the scope of the innovative network 3D4Space.

In subproject C “Development of smart polymers for space applications“, we research the selection of material and the processing of plastics. Particularly, the extreme environment requirements have to be taken into account. We pay attention to the entire process chain, from granular procurement via filament extrusion to 3D printing as well as inspection of filaments and 3D printed objects. Especially, the production and processing of filaments with fillers, such as lunar regolith simulants and fibers are examined.

In subproject E “New recycling technologies for highly-hilled polymer composites”, we create processes that allow objects to be recycled or reused at the end of their life cycle. Beside material cycles, direct applications such as the production of pressing tools from plastic and lunar regolith simulant are investigated. Another important topic is to embed the cycles in the material selection from subproject C. It is necessary to select materials that meet the requirements of space travel on the one hand and that can be recycled and used for 3D printing processes as many times as possible on the other hand.