Creating new polymer based products...
We're investigating polymer and composite materials across all length scales with an emphasis on the materials science aspects of these materials and tailoring structure and properties through processing.
Shape and structure dictate a polymer or composite material’s behaviour. Next to the molecular structure of polymers itself or in the case of composites the shape and properties of fillers like carbon fibres or graphene, the ability to organise these molecules and fillers through processing is key to the optimization of a products final properties. For example, the same polymer can be rigid or flexible, transparent or opaque, permeable or impermeable, according to the organization of its macromolecules.
The key to taking full advantage of polymers and their composites relies on our capacity to induce, by means of processing, specific microstructural organizations. Through this our researchers are finding new ways to create polymer based products for innovations in lightweighting, system integration, smart devices, fibres and textiles, sustainable packaging, recycling and many more.
All our work is performed in close collaboration with industry. Our research is based on academic excellence but with a clear industrial focus. Numerous possibilities exist to work with us and to use our services.
Within the National polymer Processing Centre, we have cutting edge technology encompassing:
- Compounding: small (grams) scale to medium (kilograms) scale compounding using twin-screw extrusion or three-roll milling.
- Injection moulding: Advanced injection moulding including multi-component (2K), micro-moulding, microcellular moulding, structural overmoulding.
- Extrusion technology: profile, tubing, cast film, blown film and multi-layer co-extrusion, 3D printing filaments, roll-to-roll coating.
- Fibre technology: Mono- and multi-filament fibre spinning, tape extrusion and drawing, nanofibre production, textiles and nonwovens.
- Composite technology: Compression moulding, vacuum infusion, RTM, filament winding, ultrasonic C-scan, acoustic emission (AE), digital image correlation (DIC).
- Characterization: mechanical testing, thermal analysis, rheology, microscopy, barrier, optical, electrical, thermal properties etc