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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/M59747/01
Title: MICRO-SCALE POLYMER PROCESSING:MOLECULAR STRUCTURE TO PRODUCT PERFORMANCE ACROSS THE LENGTH SCALES
Principal Investigator: McLeish, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Johnson, Professor AF Duckett, Dr RA Harlen, Dr OG
McGowan, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BICC BP DOW
Dupont ICI
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 1999 Ends: 31 March 2003 Value (£): 720,544
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Chemicals
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose a co-ordinated (6 academic institutions) attack on the challenge of molecular structural control of polymer processing and final engineering properties. Emphasis is on the roles of long-chain branching and molecular weight distribution. Gramme quantities of controlled materials will be processed at the bench-top scale in parallel with multi-scale theoretical modelling.Monodisperse materials in Polystyrene and hydrogenated polybutadiene will be synthesised in linear and comb-branched forms of controlled narrow molecular weight distribution. Intensively characteriesed molecularly and rheologically, they will be processed in model geometries of recirculating, extrusion and injection types, with flow and stress-field visualisation. Molecular conformations will be measured by in-situ neutron-scattering, and crystallisation kinetics/morphology by real-time x-ray scattering. The solid-state engineering properties of the resulting samples will be carefully measure and correlated with process history and molecular structure. The entire process will be modelled at the level of local rheology (tube-model theory in non-linear flows), process geometry (Lagrangian flow-solving of molecular constitutive equations) and final state(frozen-in orientiation, crystallization morphology) for toughness and strength. Technology transfer within the project is to consortium of five industrial participants who will provide materials and data ofr in-house processing or add-on investigations into the highly-charaterised set of model materials.
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk