Colloids Group, a leading manufacturer of innovative masterbatches, compounds, and performance enhancing additives, is funding a joint collaborative Ph.D. research project with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester. The centre specialises in the rapid development and scale up of graphene and other 2D materials applications and focuses on several application areas to rapidly accelerate the development and commercialisation of new graphene technologies. The GEIC is an industry-led innovation centre, designed to work in collaboration with industry partners to create, test and optimise new concepts for delivery to market, along with the processes required for scale up and supply chain integration.
Phase 1 of this collaborative project was successfully completed within 12 months. Phase 2, which is about to start, is expected to be a three to four year research project. For this next phase, Colloids is funding and supporting a full time Ph.D. researcher who will be based at University of Manchester with the Advanced Nanomaterials Group led by Dr. Mark A. Bissett and Professor Ian A. Kinloch. The Ph.D. researcher will also be working with and supervised by key Colloids’ R & D people involved in the project.
The potential benefits of 2D thermoplastic nanocomposites have long been recognized. The project team will investigate the applicability of nanocomposites based on graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials to a broad range of thermoplastic materials, including polyolefins, polyamides and polyesters, and to understand how mechanical, thermal, electrical, rheological and gas-barrier properties (among others) are affected by the production process and by the materials used. The main goal of this collaborative Ph.D. research project is to develop and upscale new polymer-graphene nanocomposites with enhanced properties and multifunctional capabilities that are not currently available. Key target markets for ‘next generation’ graphene nanocomposite Colloids products include automotive, aerospace, electronics and electrical.
As the research project is through Graphene@Manchester, the collaborative project team benefits from access to the extensive graphene research facilities at The University of Manchester: the National Graphene Institute (NGI), the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC), and the Henry Royce Institute. The University of Manchester is a globally recognized centre of excellence for cutting edge graphene research, building upon the published work by Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 for isolating, characterising and contacting ground-breaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.
Colloids Group is exhibiting with parent company, TOSAF Group Ltd. (Booth# Hall 8a / D01) at the K’19 Plastics & Rubber exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany, which runs from 16-23 October 2019. Show visitors from companies interested in the graphene nanocomposites collaborative project can speak with technical people from the Colloids’ team who will be at the show.
About Colloids Group
Colloids products are used in a wide range of plastic applications in automotive, medical, industrial, E & E, agricultural, construction, pipes, geosynthetics, consumer goods and packaging markets. Colloids Group manufacturing sites operate to ISO 9001 quality standards, with the main UK site at Knowsley also being ISO 14001 accredited. Both Colloids Liverpool and Colloids China are IATF 16949:2016 automotive quality management certified.