Our interest is focused on several aspects of polymeric-based materials where basic research, materials and processes design and applications are combined. Overall, we address problems related with polymer synthesis, characterization of molecular structure, polymer processing and end-product properties. In our view, the basic knowledge at the molecular level is key to properly approach the challenges found in engineering processing or product design.
From a fundamental point of view, we pursue a deeper understanding of the factors that control structure and polymer chains dynamics at molecular level. We pay particular attention to mixtures of homopolymers and copolymers as they potentially offer a much wider range of properties and performance to those found in single homopolymers. We study the processes of phase separation in supercritical fluids that lead to thermoplastic foams, massively used in thermal and acoustic insulation. We also study crystallization, adhesion and degradation mechanisms in polyolefins, which have a large impact in their lifetime use. The group employ experimental tools that include the advanced use of viscoelastic, calorimetric and microspectroscopic-based techniques. In many cases, experimentation is complemented by numerical modeling, carried out either within the group or in association with other areas.
This basic knowledge is applied in solving many practical problems, from simple characterization of raw materials to the development of polymers for specific applications. The group produces polymers at both, laboratory and pilot plant scale; develops specific technologies for thermoplastics processing such as injection for large pieces or production of expanded polyolefins. The group also develops technologies for the production of a wide range of materials so diverse as proppants agents used in fracture of non-conventional oil wells or speciality elastomers for satellite fuel containers. Our skills have helped to several local industries in the challenge of replacing imported parts and products by local counterparts, or in meeting international standards to facilitate their possible access to external markets.
- Polymer chains dynamics
- Viscoelasticity of polymer blends and solutions
- Mechanical and physical properties of polymer blends and solutions
- Adhesion between elastomers and polyolefins
- Crystallization and degradation of thermoplastic polyolefins
- Synthesis of homopolymers and copolymers
- Polymeric films and coatings
- Confocal Raman micro-spectroscopy analysis techniques
- Mechanical-dynamical analysis techniques
- Homopolymers and copolymers shyntesis
- Heat and mass transport in polymer matrices
- Processing technologies for thermoplastic injection (large pieces)
- Microcellular thermoplastic foam production
- Production of proppants for fracture oil wells
- Expansion of thermoplastic foam using supercritics fluids.
External services offered
With more than 20 years of experience in transfer of technology, we have the ability to understand the requirements of polymers industry and to generate the work plans to solve specific problems. The group has legal and administrative frameworks for signing of agreements, contracts along with the confidentiality framework required for each specific case. We offer:
- Interpretation of plastic industry requirements concerning to raw materials, processes, products and quality control.
- Analysis and advice for solving problems of local and national polymeric industries
- Synthesis of polymer based materials and related products
- Characterization of polymers based materials by calorimetry, rheometry or Raman micro-spectroscopy.
- Modeling and simulation of thermoplastic processing
- Training courses according to specific requirements of the applicant.