From Material to Application
The iRAP institute addresses scientific and technical challenges in the field of plastics processing. It offers concrete and efficient solutions to the specific demands of the industrial sector. The competences offered by iRAP range from the material to its application (« Materials - Design - Process ») while taking into account the product life cycle (« Product life cycle »).
The iRAP institute consists of a highly-qualified team of experts and state-of-the-art equipment. Its strength lies in its ability to be a one-stop shop for the industry which can address complex technological problems related to plastics processing (packaging, mechatronics, medical, automotive, etc.).
Through short-, medium- and long-term applied research and development (R&D) projects, the institute carries out projects by going through all the stages necessary for their successful completion: from the specifications to the finished product. The iRAP institute's fields of competence are based on its four strategic research areas:
- Plastic and ceramic injection molding (CIM): Design and development of injected plastic and ceramic products and their molds, rheological and mechanical simulation, prototyping on injection machines, CIM sintering and debinding, injection of bonded polymer magnets.
- Extrusion, compounding and material characterization: Development of high added value compounds, prototyping on extrusion and compounding machines, characterization of material properties and tests laboratory.
- Surface technologies and nanotechnologies: Surface functionalisation with atmospheric plasma, coatings, nanomechanical analyses, surface texturing, and tribology in the field of plastics processing
- Composites and lightweight structure design: Design and development of products in lightweight structures, composites, continuous fibers, mechanical simulation, prototyping.
Industry partners who choose to work with iRAP can benefit from project co-funding by the Swiss Confederation (through Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency), the Cantons (as part of its New Regional Policy, “NPR”), and the European Union R&D Framework Program. iRAP also offers collaboration in the form of services (mandate).
Depending on the nature of the project, iRAP has the capacity to combined knowledge and expertise from the other HEIA-FR institutes and competence centers. In particular with PICC (bioplastics and circular economy), ChemTech (polymer chemistry), iPrint (digital printing) or iCoSys (data analytics). That enables iRAP to offer complete and pragmatic industrial solutions.