Research in various aspects of polymers, including their processing, has been carried out in the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s for over 25 years. During this time substantial investment has been made in establishing and maintaining state of the art processing and analytical facilities.
Building on the long established processing expertise at QUB in rotational moulding and polymer extrusion and extending into injection moulding, blow moulding and thermoforming, the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) was established in 1996 to conduct and support leading edge, industrially exploitable, fundamental and applied R&D to demonstrably improve industrial competitiveness. In 2002 there followed the establishment of the Medical Polymers Research Institute (MPRI) forum for collaborative work in the field of new polymeric materials, products and processes for the medical devices and drug delivery industries.
In addition to undertaking industrially relevant research and development into new polymeric materials and processes, the Centre has a central supporting role to much of the more strategic and longer term polymer research undertaken in the Advanced Materials & Processing Research Cluster at Queen’s University. It also combines a variety of functions from training research staff, students and industrial personnel, to working directly on commercially relevant problems. The following pages provide a snapshot of the extensive equipment base and capabilities, which are underpinned by a strong team of specialised and highly experienced Project Engineers.
Research staff in the Centre work side by side with industrial and academic partners from across the world in developing new processes and innovative products and provide input to the implementation of new technologies. From brainstorming new ideas for projects to developing entire new processes right through extensive pilot plant trials before ultimately implementing these new developments into full scale production plants.
The range of services offered include the following:
• Process design and assessment
• Process troubleshooting
• Analytical services
• Co-development partnerships
• Education and Training
Dr Nicholas Dunne
Director of the Advanced Materials and Processing Research Cluster and the PPRC