Technical Services

Advanced Materials
Polymers – Polymer Processing Research Centre

Polymers – Polymer Processing Research Centre

Description

Polymers Research Cluster undertakes leading edge multidisciplinary research into the processing, modelling and development of high performance polymeric materials, including their use in medical applications. This builds on the longstanding reputation for excellence in polymer research at Queen’s and the industrial relevance of its work.

Area(s) of Expertise

Compounding & Formulation

The range of available compounding facilities can be applied to studies on a large number of polymer based formulations, including polymer blends and recyclate, fibre reinforced thermoplastics composites, filled polymers and nanocomposites. Sample sizes can range from a few hundred grammes to many kilogrammes depending on requirements.   

A large body of associated formulation expertise exists in order to optimize compound properties or processability. Specialist areas of compounding know-how include biodegradable polymers, flame retardants, natural fibre composites, filler surface treatment technologies, silicate layer clay nanocomposites and carbon nanotubes.

Stretch Blow Moulding

Research in Injection Stretch Blow Moulding has been ongoing for the past 15 years.  The main focus of the research is in the development of instrumentation and simulation software with the aim of lightweighting PET bottles and optimising the process.

Projects have been carried out in collaboration with local and international companies.  These projects range from short-term material evaluation using our state of the art biaxial tester, training and consultancy work, to long term applied and fundamental research.  Subject areas include: biaxial testing of materials (PET, PP, HIPS), development and implementation of material models in commercial FEA code, in-service performance analysis (topload, shelflife), incorporation of instrumentation in stretch blow moulding, and development of numerical simulations of stretch blow moulding.  More information can be found on our projects page

The Centre is equipped with a fully instrumented lab scale injection stretch blow moulding machine enabling proof of concept studies to be performed as well as validation of our numerical simulations. 

We have also recently developed a new product for measuring the temperature of the preform before it enters the mould – ThermoScan.  The ThermoScan device is a valuable tool to aid in setup of the process and for process monitoring. It is also essential for providing appropriate input of the inside and outside preform wall temperature for numerical simulations.  

Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Key word(s)

Polymers

Project Funding

We have access to a range of potential funding mechanisms to support your business collaborate with this project including

ktp Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are based on partnerships between academic groups and companies who need access to skills and knowledge in order to innovate. The academic and industrial partners jointly devise and manage a two or three year programme to achieve the advances the company needs. This programme of work is carried out in the company by a KTP Associate and the resulting relationship can be very challenging and rewarding to all parties www.ktponline.org.uk
4k-vouchers Innovation Vouchers are designed to enable small Northern Ireland enterprises to access knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions to business issues. The programme provides a voucher of up to £4000 to enable small enterprises to engage with one of the 41 universities, colleges and other publicly funded research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland www.innovationvouchers.com
If you are interest and would like to find out more including potential funding mechanisms, please complete your details below