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International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing


The £4.1m International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing is a first of its kind in the world

The Institute exploits polymer processing techniques which will enable industry to innovate their manufacturing technologies to produce polymer nanocomposites. The Nanocomposites Research Group within the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM) focuses on the manufacture of Nanocomposites by adopting a holistic approach.

Through synthesising and functionalising nanoparticles and incorporating such particles into polymers using innovative manufacturing techniques industry is able to scale up and commercialise products with added functionality.

The new Institute houses state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • Characterisation laboratories
  • Wet chemistry laboratory
  • Processing hall
  • Research Space and Offices

A team of 50 academics and researchers work collaboratively with other academic groups and industrial partners, both national and international, on fundamental and applied research projects in the field of nanocomposites with application in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, security and medicine.

IINM Flythrough Video:

The research activities within the Institute align closely with other work carried out in WMG particularly those in lightweighting and composites, where nanoparticles can be added to polymers and foams introducing functionality to structural components.

The IINM Building

The IINM building was constructed in 2014; it was designed by Cullinan Studio as a highly sustainable facility with a number of environmental features. The IINM was constructed by The Portakabin Group using a Yorkon off-site solution which provided a radically reduced construction time to just 14 weeks on site, which is several months less than typically required for the type of building. This building approach is highly sustainable as it reduces the number of vehicle movements to site by around 90%.

The £2.3m two-storey building was manufactured off site and was craned into position as 28-steel framed modules.The exterior walls have been arranged to create a clean and easy-to-maintain environment for nanocomposite testing. At the core of the building sits the 9m high central processing hall where the large scale equipment and machinery can be housed.

Read more about IINM Facilities>>

Time Lapse Video of the IINM Construction

The IINM benefits from a number of energy efficiency features including:

  • Photovoltaic roof panels to produce energy and save carbon emissions
  • Efficient low temperature hot water (LTHW) and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) inverter-driven heat pumps
  • Heat recovery ventilation to recover heat from extracted air