Advanced Manufacturing of Polymers (AdMaP)

Lead Participant: International Paint Limited

Abstract

"Organic polymers are used in a range of sectors including composites for vehicles and aircraft; performance coatings and packaging and are difficult to synthesise at industrial scale. The manufacturing performance of industrial polymers is typically undertaken in large stirred tank reactors, heated by oil or steam jackets. These are characterised by long reaction times and are associated with slow heating /cooling cycles and lack of consistency between batches. Volume of production is also limited by capital cost of additional units. This project will develop a unique commercial scale microwave heating system for industrial polymer synthesis which can be retro-fitted to existing commercial reactors, delivering a step-change improvement in both reaction time, process control and volume production. We will then demonstrate the technical and commercial benefits of this technology through retro-fitting the design to an existing pilot-scale facility. Existing work at 5 kg scale has shown resins can be manufactured in half the time with improved colour (less burning) and enhanced specification.

Outputs of this project will be the design of a commercial scale system, whose techno-economic performance is validated using a pilot-scale demonstrator. It will enable partner INOX design and Te2v to manufacture, sell and retrofit this technology to key players in the polymer industry and if fully realised would reduce their manufacturing costs by 5.6 bn EUR annually on a market for powder coatings worth 13bn EUR per year whilst at the same time cutting CO2 emissions by 740,000 tonnes per year. A verified supply chain with leveraged support by the Centre for Process Intensification (CPI) with will be used to engage other end users to promote wide adoption of this technology, befitting the UK industrial polymer sector."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

International Paint Limited, Gateshead £445,730 £ 222,865
 

Participant

Centre for Process Innovation Limited, REDCAR £34,588 £ 34,588
Teledyne E2v (UK) Limited, Essex £114,160 £ 57,080
Inox Design Limited, Carlisle £53,119 £ 37,183
Marleton Cross Limited, TEWKESBURY £45,421 £ 27,253
University of Nottingham £239,646 £ 239,646

Publications

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