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National Polymer Processing Centre

We have a significant track record of innovation and technology transfer in plastics processing, and extensive capabilities and facilities across a wide range of processes.

We have worked with large organisations and SMEs across a variety of sectors to develop and embed plastics processing.

We offer capability within the plastics industry's most widely used processes including injection moulding, thermoforming, blow moulding, compression moulding, compounding, extrusion, and rotational moulding.

Our research is built upon four foundational principles for materials processing:

  1. Innovating the manufacturing process - including scale up of materials and processes
  2. Adding functionality - to materials and components
  3. Full integration into structure - maximising multifunctionality for high value manufacturing
  4. Sustainability and holistic environmental design including end of life
Examples of our work include:

Through our research activity, we have been responsible for the introduction of some successful developments related to plastics processing:

  • Hybrid moulding
    • Metal surfacing during plastic injection moulding
    • Hydroforming of metal extrusions using plastic injection
  • 'In mould' paint - patented pressure gas coating technique
  • 'In mould' smart functions - the ability to include electronic capability in plastic mouldings
  • 'In mould' technology:
    • Holographic surfaces
    • Dye diffusion images
    • Particle manipulated imaging
    • Data embedding by particle manipulation
  • Koolgas - cryogenic moulding for material saving and smooth bore pipe
  • Plastic processing using multi-layer technology
  • Rapid tool manufacture - creating prototype tooling in less than one week
  • Reinforced thermoplastics for structural applications
  • Thermal NDT - novel use of thermal stress analysis for damage control
  • Thermal structural analysis - real time analysis using rapid prototype models
  • Thermoplastic Compression Moulding:
    • Long glass fibre extrusion compression