In the beginning of the 1960s, the Technical University of Stuttgart realized that plastics were becoming an increasingly important class of material, perfoming completely different than classic construction materials.
Inititally, in 1963, a professorship for material science of metals and plastics was to be appointed in the "Materialprüfanstalt" (MPA). However, the designated head of the MPA, professor Wintergerst, negotiated the chair to become independent and to be renamed "Institut für Kunststoffkunde und Kunststoffprüfung (IKP)" shortly afterwards. Incepted at Cannstatter Straße, the institute moved to Pfaffenwaldring 32.
Just one year later, Otto Fahr, the former chairman of Werner Pfleiderer, now Coperion, instigated the foundation of the "Institut für Kunststofftechnologie" (IKT). Under the leadership of professor Schenkel, this institute concerned itself with the procedures and machines related to plastics preparation and processing. Initially located at Keplerstraße, the institute found its place in the Bengerbau building at Böblinger Straße 70.
Thanks to the former heads of the institute, professor Wintergerst (IKP) and professor Schenkel (IKT), as well as their successors professor Eyerer and professor Fritz, later in cooperation with professor Busse and professor Wagner, the IKT acquired internationally renowned knowledge, steadily transfered to the industry. In the 1990s, both insitutes together employed approximately 100 research assistants and 40 technical staff members, most of them fincanced with money generated by these institutes.
In the beginning of the 1960s, both the IKP and the IKT were founded at different premises, complementing their orientations. In 2010, they were unified by the University of Stuttgart and handed over to professor Bonten. The mission was clear: to share the successes of the past decades. In 2014, the institute was strenghened by the creation of another W3 professorship for Prof. Kreutzbruck. In the years to come, the new "Institut für Kunststofftechnik" will be consolidated at the former premises of the IKP at the Pfaffenwaldring campus to be closer to the Stuttgart students.