The Faraday Plastics Partnership is a DTI funded initiative run jointly by Warwick Manufacturing Group and Rapra Technology Ltd. The partnership uses the contacts and experience of Manufacturing Group staff to build relationships between the world of academic research and the polymer-using business community. The contacts can be as simple as telephone advice on a production problem, or as large as a three-year multidisciplinary research project.
One of the more unusual requests for help came from artist Peter Hill at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Peter is part of a team at the project working to produce an educational exhibit showing how industrial materials can be produced from crops. The Eden team wanted to make a model tree using polymer resins and reinforcements made from plant origin raw materials.
The Warwick team expects these low environmental impact polymers to become increasingly popular because they do not use finite oil reserves as a feedstock, and at the end of product life can be usually be composted, to complete a minimum environmental impact lifecycle.
Related web pages:
Warwick and the Environment - http://www.warwick.ac.uk/environment/