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Register to attend Celebrating our 20th year: PPRC Open Day on 13th September 2016
PPRC Logo

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) at Queen’s University Belfast and to celebrate this occasion the Centre will open its doors for a special technology showcasing event on Tuesday 13th September 2016.

Over the past two decades the PPRC has led in the development of advanced technologies in polymer processing and it has established a worldwide reputation for its work.  At the same time it has helped to bridge the technology transfer gap between academia and industry, and its work has ensured that Northern Ireland’s polymer processing industry and its future engineers are exposed to the very latest technologies.  

The Centre was recently refurbished and the event will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about new technologies, tour the facilities, meet the staff and experience some practical polymer processing.

The event will begin at 8am with an Industry Breakfast Seminar in association with the Northern Ireland Polymers Association (NIPA), which will focus on some of the latest research in polymer processing.  This will be followed by coffee and a networking session before visitors will have an opportunity to either tour the facilities or to participate in a number of practical workshop sessions that will be running throughout the day.  These will provide hands-on experience of testing and processing techniques, and they will include short lectures and question and answer sessions. Notes and lunch will be provided for participants.  The event is entirely free of charge but pre-booking will be essential for the workshop sessions due to limitations on numbers.

To download a final schedule and booking form please click here.

Dr Peter Martin

Director of PPRC

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Kearns and Nugent Forecast the Next 40 Years of Rotomoulding
Mark Kearns
Mark Kearns

For the 40th Anniversary Meeting, Association of Rotational Moulders has asked Mark Kearns and Paul Nugent to consider the next 40 years of rotomoulding.

Mark will present at the meeting being held in New Orleans on 24-27 September 2016.

The Rotomoulding Factory of the Future by Mark Kearns, Queen's University Belfast.

Significant technological advances in production methods, control, automation, robotics and innovative materials are already having an impact on rotomoulding today.  As ARM celebrates its establishment 40 years ago, this presentation will address how the rotomoulding industry might evolve, develop and transform over the next 40 years.  What impact will the 4th Industrial Revolution have on the shape of the rotomoulding factory of the future?  How will rotomoulding machines, moulds, materials, markets and factories change over the next 40 years?  This presentation will look at the Rotomoulding Factory of the Future and identify some future trends and technologies detailing their potential impact on future rotomoulding technology, production and markets.

For further information on the ARM 40th Anniversary Meeting click here.

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Webinar Lecture to ISPA Students
ISPA Students
ISPA Students who attended the webinar.

Dr Paul Hanna from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) was invited to give an expert lecture on the subject of Rotational Moulding to over forty Master’s degree students and staff at the Higher Institute of Plastics, Alecon (ISPA) in France.  The lecture was delivered using a webinar format and supports the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in helping to foster international links with a leading Polymer Engineering Institute.  Ms Claire Horner, International Development Officer at ISPA, highlighted the learning benefit of expert lectures in English and that this formed part of ISPA’s international strategy to prepare work-ready students.  Guillaume Lemaire, Master’s degree student, commented “very clear lecture, interesting and well-illustrated”.  For further information please contact Dr Paul Hanna (p.r.hanna@qub.ac.uk).

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New Robotic Rotational Moulding Machine Arrives at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queens.
Robot

The School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has recently installed a new state of the art, robot based rotational moulding machine. Named ‘Robomould’ the installation is the result of a collaboration between QUB, French multi-national ‘Total’ (and its research centre based in Feluy, Belgium) and Automation & Manufacturing Services (AMS) also based in Belgium.

Queens Academics along with colleagues based in the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC), will work on the development and optimisation of this unique, rotomoulding technology. Using state of the art computer simulation models and sophisticated process monitoring techniques, this automated polymer processing technology will be tested and improved over the next 18 months. 

The PPRC is recognised as a centre of excellence for the global rotational moulding industry where they have contributed to a number of world leading technical developments in the area. Researchers in QUB developed the first commercial process control system (Rotolog) and simulation software (RotoSim) for the Rotomoulding Industry and there has also been recent commercialisation of a new energy-saving system, the Rotocooler. The fundamental understanding of the rotomoulding process that was developed at QUB also enabled the moulding of new materials for new application areas, notably motorcycle fuel tanks which are now in use by BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson and Honda.

For more information contact Mark Kearns at:  m.kearns@qub.ac.uk  

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Advanced Sensors for Polymer Processing Workshop
Bio-polytec Logo

The Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) on behalf of the Bio-PolyTec project consortium invite you to a FREE half-day workshop on Real-Time monitoring of Polymer Degradation and Additive dispersion during Processing. The workshop will introduce novel, fibre-optic based sensors capable of monitoring physio-chemical changes in polymers and compounds in real-time during processing. Variation in the agglomeration/dispersion of filler particles or the degradation of biodegradable polymers can be critical issues for many high-performance products but require expensive and time-consuming laboratory analysis to detect. Learn how this can be done in-process in real-time. The workshop will cover:

  • Industry leaders discuss issues in the manufacturing of high performance polymer products
  • Recent developments in using process spectroscopy and fibre optic probes to detect degradation of PLA during extrusion
  • Recent developments in using process spectroscopy and fibre optic probes to detect agglomeration of filler products during compounding
  • Hands-on demo of sensor system
  • Details on funding opportunities for investigation of the application of the technology to your business

Date and Time: 10:45-13:30 on Thursday 26th November (Lunch Provided)

Location: Polymer Processing Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast

To confirm your attendance please visit the eventbrite page

For more information on the Bio-PolyTec project please visit: www.biopolytec.eu

Project Partners:

ITSligoScaffdexIPCQUB

 

 

FOSTUTCorbianPBL

 

We hope you can make it.

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Rotational Moulding Hands-On Training Seminar
Course Attendees.

Mr Mark Kearns (Moulding manager), Dr Paul Hanna and Dr Mark McCourt (Process engineers) from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering’s Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) recently delivered a Rotational Moulding Hands-On Training Seminar to a large group of industrialists from across the UK, Ireland, Europe (Italy, Germany) and India.  The delegates attending the training course were given the opportunity to put theory into practice by using QUB’s industrial scale Ferry Rotospeed rotational moulding machine.

Topics covered included:

  • Fundamentals of the process and award-winning products from around the world.
  • In-depth study on the anatomy of the moulding cycle, heating/cooling mechanisms, science behind bubble and pin-hole removal.
  • Types of rotational moulding machinery and moulds available to industry.
  • Colour blending methods and control of shrinkage/warpage.
  • Hands-on demonstrations of in-mould pressurisation, process monitoring, powder grinding, quality and in-mould cooling.
  • New materials and development trends for the industry.

For further information please contact Mr Mark Kearns (m.kearns@qub.ac.uk).

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Contact Information

Polymer Processing Research Centre
Queen's University Belfast
Ashby Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AH

Tel: 028 90974700

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