The processing route by which a polymeric material is converted into a product has a key bearing on its properties and interactions between material, process and microstructure must be understood in order to optimise both processing and product performance. In this group we combine predictive material and process modelling with rigorous experimental methodologies in order to develop robust models that provide real insight into the links between material, process and part performance. The key processes modelled are those involving free surfaces including thermoforming and stretch blow moulding. Once key material and process parameters have been identified it is then possible to implement robust process control via a combination of soft and hard sensors such as those being developed for extrusion control.
The following research is ongoing in Modelling and Control: