TU Dresden, Institut für Leichtbau und Kunststofftechnik

At the Institute of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology (ILK) of the Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) extensive research is performed in the field of load-adapted lightweight structures. Therefore, a comprehensive approach is pursued with respect to both materials and products throughout the entire engineering chain – material, design, simulation, manufacturing, component, and quality assurance – and thus makes one-stop lightweight solutions possible. Dimensioning and optimizing criteria, especially for high-performance purposes, are one aim, whereas the design-engineering application of light weight structures in multi material designs is a focal point. A further main field of research at the ILK is the development of innovative material concepts with a high lightweight potential (e.g. textile-reinforced composites, hybrid composites, metal-matrix composites). Function-integrating lightweight system-solutions hold a particular potential by owning an inherent material and energy efficiency. The ILK is predestined by basic research and projects with a strong reference to application. In March 2006 Rolls-Royce opened the university research-centre UTC „Lightweight Structures and Materials“. The ILK belongs to both faculties “Mechanical Engineering“ and “Transportation and Traffic Sciences“ of the TU Dresden. The ILK is also leader of the cluster of excellence “ECEMP – European Centre For Emerging Materials and Processes Dresden”.

Co-Workers and Facilities:

At present, the Institute of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology comprises 200 employees, mainly engineers with a specialization in mechanical engineering, material science, electrical engineering, civil engineering as well as engineering mathematicians, physicists and technical staff and students from the unique course of studies “Lightweight Engineering”.

Research Areas:

  • Function-integrating system lightweight engineering in multi-materials design
  • Construction method development, dimensioning concepts, functional qualification
  • Mechanical characterization of reinforced and non-reinforced materials
  • Design, structural analysis, simulation and optimization of lightweight structures made of isotropic and anisotropic materials
  • Experimental verification and tests of prototypes and single components
  • Economical and ecological product design, prototype manufacture and demonstrator tests


  • Process Engineering Centre
  • Production hall for prototypes and technology demonstrators
  • High-performance autoclaves
  • 5-axes winding maschine
  • High-speed radial braiding machine for big components
  • RTM facilities
  • Two-Component-Injection-Moulding-System
  • Foaming and long fibre injection unit
  • Joining laboratory


  • Material-mechanical laboratory (static, cyclic)
  • High-speed testing complex (crash, impact)
  • Material-physical laboratory (non-destructive testing)
  • Acoustics test centre
  • Tribology testing complex
  • Testing hall with test area for prototypes
  • CAE-training and development centre