NSF: Molecular Engineering of Polymers for Processing Performance and Properties

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Chemistry


Plastics are moving into the 21st century! A new generation of materials will be designed, not only in the shape and form of their components, but right down at the level of the molecules themselves. UK groups in chemistry, physics, maths and engineering have been working to find out the best way to join up the long string-like molecules of plastics like polyethylene (PE) to help smooth the path of their processing. In the hot melted state their flow is not only liquid but also elastic. This feature needs to be carefully controlled by molecular design. Several US groups have been working with PE made by new catalysts that may be able to deliver the ideal molecular structures. This proposal is to join up these two leading collaborations to fast-track the new materials.


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Kimani S (2008) A Facile Route to Synthesize Well-Defined Polybutadiene DendriMacs in Macromolecular Rapid Communications