Special Seminars

Thursday, May 7, 2015
11:00 a.m.

Room 130
Aggarwal Lecture Hall

Mike Read
Research Fellow, The Dow Chemical Company

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"The Industrial Aspects of Reactive Extrusion"

Reactive extrusion provides a low capital process technology that can transform commodity plastics into high-value, specialty materials. Many of these processes utilize twin-screw extruders as the means of functionalization. The seminar will address some of the issues that are addressed in scaling up new chemistries from lab line, to pilot plant scale, to commercial production equipment. Case studies will be presented that demonstrate some of the critical engineering design and process requirements necessary to produce a successful commercial product.

Mike received his B.S. and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His PhD degree was part of the current Macromolecular Science program.

Work Background
Mike entered Dow in the Consumer Products business supporting process technology and new business development in ZIPLOC bags; blow molded containers (wheel and reciprocating), profile extrusion, and recycled plastics. He then transferred to the Performance Packaging business developing multilayer film applications. He moved into his current role in Core R&D in 2000 Material Science & Engineering.

Areas of Expertise
Mike is the technology leader for the reactive extrusion platform supporting the AMPLIFY GR, AMPLIFY IO, AFFINITY GR resin families for Dow’s Performance Packaging business. He supports twin-screw extrusion, specialty compounding, extrusion process scale-up activities, mechanical dispersion scale-up activities, blow molding, and cast film technology. He also has expertise in polymer functionalization, modified starch chemistries for coatings, and melt processing of cellulose ether chemistries.

Current Interests
Current research topics involve developing novel polymer dispersions with functionalized polyolefin backbone materials. Mike is active in the Society of Plastics Engineers with past leadership roles in the Blow Molding and Engineering Properties and Structure divisions. Locally, he is a Boy Scout adult leader and enjoys fly fishing, backpacking, and wood working.

Monday, May 4, 2015
9:30 a.m.

Room 130
Aggarwal Lecture Hall

David Hanson
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Theoretical Division in the Molecular Physics and Theoretical Chemistry Group (retired)

DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the full abstract flyer

"A New Paradigm for the Molecular Basis of Rubber Elasticity"

The molecular basis for rubber elasticity is arguably the oldest and one of the most important questions in the field of polymer physics. The theoretical investigations began in earnest almost a century ago with the development of analytic thermodynamic models, based on simple, highly-symmetric configurations of so-called Gaussian chains, i.e. polymer chains that obey Markov statistics. Numerous theories have been proposed over the past 90 years based on the ansatz that the elastic force for individual network chains arises from the entropy change associated with the distribution of end-to-end distances of a free polymer chain. There are serious philosophical objections to this assumption and others, e.g., all network nodes undergo a simple affine motion and all network chains have the same length. Recently, we have proposed a new paradigm for elasticity in rubber networks that is based on physical mechanisms that originate at the molecular level. Using conventional statistical mechanics analyses, Quantum Chemistry, and Molecular Dynamics simulations, the fundamental entropic and enthalpic chain extension forces for polyisoprene (natural rubber) have been determined, along with estimates for the basic force constants. Concurrently, the complex morphology of natural rubber networks (the joint probability density distributions that relate the chain end-to-end distance to its contour length) has also been captured in a numerical model (EPnet). When molecular chain forces are merged with the network structure in this model, it is possible to study the mechanical response to tensile and compressive strains of a representative volume element of a polymer network. As strain is imposed on a network, pathways of connected taut chains, that completely span the network along strain axis, emerge. Although these chains represent only a few percent of the total, they account for nearly all of the elastic stress at high strain. We will provide a brief review of previous elasticity theories and their deficiencies, and present the new paradigm with an emphasis on experimental comparisons.

David E. Hanson holds BS and MA degrees in physics from the University of Oregon and the University of California at Santa Barbara, respectively. He is recently retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Theoretical Division in the Molecular Physics and Theoretical Chemistry Group. In addition to the theory of rubber elasticity, he has contributed to a number of projects, including Molecular Dynamics simulations of reactive ion/ surface interactions, Inertial Confinement Fusion and the development of micromechanical models for filled polymers. He is also a long time devotee of early music and the viola da gamba.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
11:00 a.m.

Room 229
Goodyear Polymer Center

Ulrich S. Schubert
a Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry (IOMC)
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Humboldtstraße 10, 07743 Jena, Germany
b Center for Energy and Environmental Chemistry Jena (CEEC Jena),
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Philosophenweg 7a, 07743 Jena, Germany

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"Polymer-based batteries: From printable thin film to scalable flow batteries"

Energy storage is one of the most crucial elements in the 21st century. Our mobile society requires tailor-made energy storage solutions for a wide range of technologies. Additionally, the demand for stationary energy solutions is steadily growing due to the unsteadiness of renewable resources. In this context, polymeric materials offer great possibilities for the fabrication of energy storage devices – from the small scale (e.g., printable batteries) up to the large scale (e.g., redox flow batteries.[1] The utilization of the organic polymeric material circumvents the usage of toxic/harmful and often critical raw materials (e.g., cobalt, vanadium and other metals). In this context the synthesis and detailed characterization of polymers featuring distinct redox sites based on chinones, nitroxides and other stable radicals (e.g., galvinoxyl radical, phenoxy radicals) will be presented. These materials are used to fabricate polymer-based batteries (Fig. 1). Cathode active materials (e.g., TEMPO based polymers) can be combined either with metallic anodes (zinc, lithium) or with polymer-based anodes. For latter electrodes, galvinoxyls, phenoxy radicals have been applied. The fabrication of these polymer batteries was also accomplished by printing techniques (screen printing, inkjet printing). Moreover, also large scale batteries (i.e. RFBs) can be fabricated on polymer basis. Electroactive polymers have been applied in the electrolyte of RFBs. By this manner the vanadium or other metals can be replaced.

Monday, February 23, 2015
11:00 a.m.

Room 130
Polymer Engineering Academic Center

Jin Zhu
Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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"Research on Bio-based Polymers at NIMTE"

Bio-based polymers are the polymers which are derived from renewable resources (Figure 1). Some research progress on bio-based polymers at Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering (NIMTE), Chinese Academy of Sciences will be reviewed. The research includes development of heat resistant polylactic acid, soybean based wood adhesives, rosin based polymers, itaconic acid based epoxy resins, and so on. The results indicate that the bio-based polymers show superior properties and have potential to replace petroleum-based polymers.

Prof. Jin Zhu got his Ph.D. from Marquette University in 2001 and did postdoctoral research at Cornell University from 2001 to 2003. He has worked for several American companies from 2003 to 2009 in USA prior to returning China. He is currently working at Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIMTE). He is currently the Director of Institute of Materials Technology at NIMTE. He was selected as a scholar of the “National Thousand Talent Program” in 2012. His research interests are bio-based polymers. He is currently a member of both American Chemical Society and Society of Plastics Engineers. He has transferred two technologies to industry with total amount of 26 million RMB in China. He has published more than 70 research papers. He has 30 patents granted and more than 50 patents pending.