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Technology Cluster Materials Technology


Research profile | Research Groups | Research topics | Unique infrastructure

Research profile

The Materials Technology Cluster groups the application-driven research activities and services to society at the different technology campuses of KU Leuven in the field of materials technologies.

The cluster plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between fundamental and conceptual research on the one hand and industrial valorisation and implementation on the other, in both research-driven and demand-driven innovation contexts.

Based on its research activities the cluster essentially contributes to the education and training of industrial engineers of the Faculty of Engineering Technology of KU Leuven, in particular in relation to materials technologies.



Research Groups

The research groups of the Technology cluster Computer Science are active on the Technology Campuses in:

  • Composite Materials Group
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Performance & Non-destructive Testing
  • Materials for Living Systems
  • High Temperature Processes & Industrial Ecology



Research topics

Research line in collaboration with the Composite Materials Group

  • innovations in forming processes of polymers and composites
  • innovations in hybrid manufacturing and liquid moulding techniques
  • optimisation of adhesive joining processes, especially with respect to fatigue
  • optimisation and application development of foams, sandwich materials and bio-composites
  • development of protocols for durability assessment of polymers and composites
  • development of treatments for durable (bio )composites


Research line in collaboration with High Temperature Processes & Industrial Ecology

  • sustainability assessment of alternative (waste) treatment processes
  • energetic valorisation of rest streams (waste incineration)
  • toxic substances and elements in recycling processes
  • application of computational fluid dynamics for sustainable design and optimization of industrial processes

Research line in collaboration with Metals and Alloys

  • optimisation of plastic metal forming processes
  • mechanical behaviour and applications of metallic materials
  • optimisation of mechanical joining processes


Research line in collaboration with Materials Performance & Non-destructive Testing

  • development of digital image correlation technology for displacement and strain measurement
  • development of experimental-numerical methods for identification of (thermo)-mechanical and rheological behaviour
  • industrial up-scaling of new tools for quality control during production, process monitoring and structural health monitoring


Research line in collaboration with Materials for Living Systems

  • development of set-ups and procedures for monitoring and controlling cell and tissue culture in a bioreactor environment
  • analysis of the effects of scaffold material and bioreactor design on cell behaviour


Unique infrastructure

  • Processing equipment for composites, metals and polymers
  • Equipment for online monitoring of in vitro cell behaviour
  • In-house developed software for digital image correlation (MatchID)
  • Specialized mechanical testing (biaxial tension for foils and thin sheets)
  • Chemical analysis (infrared spectroscopy, portable X-ray fluorescence)
  • Physical analysis
  • Thermal treatments (ovens up to 1200°C)
  • Dimensional metrology
  • Non-destructive testing (digital image correlation, ultrasonic devices, thermal imaging infrared camera)