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Industrial Materials Research Centre (IM-RC)


IM-RC undertakes demand driven research, innovation and technology development and disseminates the outputs to the relevant industries and other stakeholders. To achieve this, the center has the following research units Leather, Textile, Ceramics, Minerals and Building. We purpose to undertake research, development and transfer innovative technologies in industrial materials for industrial development and socio-economic growth. 

Leather and Leather Products Research Unit

  • Leather and leather goods production from conventional and non-conventional animal sources (cows, goats, sheep. ostrich, crocodile, snakes, fish, rabbits);
  • Research on sustainable and green approaches in leather processing, (hides and skin);
  • Consultancy and capacity building on establishment of leather processing plants and leather workshops; and tannery waste management/effluent analysis 
  • Fabrication of leather equipment – tanning drums and beam tables 
  • Leather testing
  • Product standardization and quality assurance

Textile Research Unit

  • Valorisation of natural fibres from commercial plants (cotton, sisal, coconut, banana) for product development (textiles, sanitary pads, natural hair piece, handcrafts)
  • Generally-Recognized-as-Safe (GRAS) microorganisms in textile waste-water bioremediation, desizing, scoring (washing) 
  • Consultancy and capacity building services - sanitary pad making, embroidery and tufting technology (mat and carpet -making technology)
  • Product standardization and quality assurance - dyeing, washing, rubbing fastness and wear

Ceramics, Minerals and Building Materials Unit

  • Alternative building materials / green construction technology - recycling of waste materials from other industries (e.g. bagasse and rice husks) into building components (ceiling boards, wood panel boards)
  • Consultancy in utilization of natural resources (e.g Kisii soapstone, Makueni clay, Mukurweini clay) in ceramics, pottery and construction industries 
  • Consultancy in building plant and machinery designs for pottery, brickmaking
  • Product standardization and quality assurance services - compression test and tensile test for concrete and soils, wood panels; ball milling services – for rocks and soils; Ceramics, minerals and building materials testing
  • Other consultancies offered; Plant structural design and development, Kiln and incinerator design, Soil and minerals analysis, Structural and concrete technologies

Ceramics and Building Materials Center

We have a pilot production center that offers industrial support services: incubation and common manufacturing services; consultancy and extension services. The center has compression testing machines, ball mills, tensile testing machines, high and low temperature ovens.

Leather Development Center

This is a pilot production tannery and leather goods development unit in Nairobi and Kisumu that offers entrepreneurs the following services: capacity building, incubation and common manufacturing services; consultancy and extension services. The center has assorted equipment/machinery; Tanning and Pilot scale drums, Leather splitting and shaving machine, Embossing/Plating machine, Buffing machine, Leather spraying booth, Leather staking machine, Common leather processing facility for SMEs, Assorted leather testing equipment.

Textile Development Center

This is a textile pilot production center offering capacity building, incubation and common manufacturing services; consultancy and extension services. Equipment in the facility include a sanitary pad making machine, computerized embroidery machine, banana fibre extractor, mat making machines, rotary screen-printing machine, Textile testing machines; wash fastness, infra-red dyeing, crock meter, wear fastness, water permeability.