Special Seminars

Thursday, November 6, 2014
9:30 a.m.

Room 130
Polymer Engineering Academic Center

Dr. Carl Willis
Research Fellow, Kraton Polymers

DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the full abstract flyer

"Kraton Polymers: Tennis Shoes to Nexar™ Membranes"

At Kraton Polymers, styrenic block copolymers having good mechanical properties were discovered in 1961. This innovation led to technology for making shoe soles on athletic footwear. Ongoing research and development efforts have afforded additional block copolymer technologies and new applications for these materials. As a consequence of these discoveries, Kraton Polymers is recognized as the leading supplier of styrenic block copolymers.
Ion containing block copolymers were recently introduced to the market under the tradename of Nexar™ Polymers. This presentation will focus on the relationship of solution structure to cast membrane morphology to product performance for this family of materials. The value of the performance characteristics for these membranes in selected applications will be presented, as well.

Biography:
Dr. Carl Willis has a longstanding and accomplished career that spans over 35 years with Kraton™ Polymers, the world’s leading producer of styrenic block copolymers. He is one of Kraton Polymers’ most prolific innovators, and is named on over 100 issued US Patents. As a Research Fellow, Carl has contributed to a number of key Kraton Polymers’ technology platforms including Nexar™ Membranes, Kraton Polymer grade lines – A, ERS, and FG – and many others. The environmental impact of the Nexar™ Polymer Membrane Technology was recognized in 2011 with the Presidential Green Chemistry Award.
Most importantly, Dr. Willis has been a great teacher and mentor for many scientists inside the Kraton Polymers organization as well as with colleagues in various academic institutions and government laboratories. These activities have included coaching PhD Candidates via Summer Intern projects in his laboratory and guiding their doctoral studies via participation on their thesis committees. His accomplishments in this area were recognized by the American Chemical Society with the award of the 2011 Polymeric Material Science and Engineering, Eastman Chemical Company Cooperative Research Award in Polymer Science and Engineering which he received jointly with Professor Timothy Long, Virginia Tech.
Recently, Carl was recognized by Kraton Polymers with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his outstanding contributions to the growth of the styrenic block copolymer business. Presently, he is being recognized for his achievements in the area of the chemistry of thermoplastic elastomers, TPEs. His research in the chemistry of TPE’s has resulted in the discovery of novel anionic polymerization initiators, alternating copolymerization technologies, highly active microstructure modifiers and distribution control agents, as well as various commercially attractive post polymerization functionalization strategies. For this work, he will receive the 2015 American Chemical Society Rubber Division Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award as sponsored by the Ralph S. Graff Foundation.


Monday, October 13, 2014
1:30 p.m.

Room 130
Polymer Engineering Academic Center

Assoc. Professor Anongnat Somwangthanaroj
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the full abstract flyer

"Polymer blends and composites in packaging applications"

Because each polymer always has some drawbacks, my research emphasizes on improving the properties of polymer including the mechanical properties such as tensile, impact and, tear as well as gas permeability and thermal properties. Sometimes, adding some astonishing properties such as photoluminescence to the plastic would add up the value of that plastic and it can be used in several applications. In this talk, I will discuss polymer blends and composites in packaging applications.

Biography:
Dr. Anongnat received her Ph.D. from Macromolecular Science and Engineering program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2003. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Pharmacy, University of Michigan for a year and then moved back to Thailand to start academic career at Chulalongkorn University. Her research interests are bioplastic packaging, adhesives for electronics applications, and pharmaceutical engineering. She also serves as an Assistant Dean for Research Affairs, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University.


Friday, September 26, 2014
11:00 a.m.

Room 229
Goodyear Polymer Center

Dr. Jamie C. Grunlan
Professor and Gulf Oil/Thomas A. Dietz Development Professor,
Dept. Mechanical Eng., Materials Science & Eng. and Chemistry, Texas A&M University

DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the full abstract flyer

"Multilayer Polymer Nanocomposite Thin Films Capable of Separating Gases and Stopping Fire"

Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly is wide-reaching conformal coating "platform" technology capable of imparting a multiplicity of functionalities on nearly any type of surface in a relatively environmentally friendly way. At its core, LbL is a solution deposition technique in which layers of cationic and anionic materials (e.g. colloidal or nano-particles, polymers and even biological molecules) are built up via electrostatic attractions in an alternating fashion, while controlling process variables such as pH, coating time, and concentration. Here we are producing nanocomposite multilayers having 10 – 96 wt% clay that are completely transparent and exhibit oxygen transmission rates below 0.005 cm3/m2•day (at a film thickness below 100 nm). These same ‘nanobrick wall’ assemblies are very conformal and able to impart flame resistance to highly flammable foam and fabric by uniformly coating the complex three-dimensional geometries. On foam, these coatings can simultaneously cut the heat release rate (HRR) in half, relative to uncoated foam, and eliminate melt dripping without adding halogenated flame retardants. We’ve also developed intumescent recipes that do not require clay, but rather rely on the foaming action of phosphorus and nitrogen-rich molecules. I’ll also describe how these films can separate H2 from N2, with selectivity greater than 2000, which exceeds other commonly used gas separation membranes (including zeolites). These films also have exceptional oxygen barrier that makes them interesting for food and flexible electronics packaging. These films can also be produced with graphene oxide to generate high barrier and low sheet resistance. All of the materials described are water-based and processing occurs under ambient conditions in most cases. Our work in these areas has been highlighted in C&EN, ScienceNews, Nature, Smithsonian Magazine, Chemistry World and various scientific news outlets worldwide. See our website for more information: http://nanocomposites.tamu.edu

Biography:
Dr. Jaime Grunlan joined Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering in July of 2004, after spending three years at the Avery Research Center in Pasadena, CA as a Senior Research Engineer. He obtained a B.S. in Chemistry, with a Polymers & Coatings emphasis, from North Dakota State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Materials Science and Engineering. Prof. Grunlan was promoted to Associate Professor in September 2010 and Professor in September 2014. His research focuses on thermal and transport properties of nanocomposite materials, especially in the areas of thermoelectric energy generation, gas barrier and fire prevention. He won the NSF CAREER and 3M Untenured Faculty awards in 2007, the Dow 2009 Young Faculty Award, the 2010 Carl A. Dahlquist Award, the 2012 L.E. Scriven Young Investigator Award, sponsored by the ISCST, and the 2013 E. D. Brockett Professorship for his work in these areas. He has published over 90 journal papers and filed several patents. Dr. Grunlan also holds joint appointments in Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering.


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