In addition to more than 750 UA faculty members that can offer expertise to corporate partners, specific laboratories and institutes provide research, testing, validation and training in areas of expertise.
As a world leader in polymer research and education, The University of Akron’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering uses distance learning to support K-12 science instruction, global research collaboration, internet instrument sharing, virtual laboratories, graduate education and workforce development.
Operating under the Institute of Polymer Science, the Applied Polymer Research Center’s full-time professional staff provides timely and reliable contractual technical services to thousands of industrial and government clients. The APRC offers companies of all sizes access to top researchers, knowledge bases and advanced equipment. Key areas of technical service include polymer characterization, additive identification, defect analysis, thermal analysis, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, electron microscopy, chromatography and spectroscopy.
As part of the internationally renowned polymer program at The University of Akron, the Institute of Polymer Engineering offers the expertise of some of the world’s foremost polymer engineers, serving as a confidential, objective and affordable source of technical assistance. The institute performs polymer processing, characterization, analysis and testing to help clients determine optimum processing conditions, improve quality control and analyze material properties. The institute also provides access to the Polymerization Pilot Plant.
The Magnetic Resonance Center operates eight superconducting NMR spectrometers, including an INOVA 750 MHz instrument with a cryoprobe and other accessories to perform every possible experiment yet devised. Seven other instruments with frequencies from 200 to 500 Mhz are equipped to perform solution and solid state multiple resonance 2D- and 3D-experiments. The techniques available on some of the lab's instruments include quadruple resonance, shaped pulses for selective excitation and pulsed field gradient work. The lab is also equipped with a Q-band ESR instrument for continuous wave experiments.
The Maurice Morton Institute of Polymer Science conducts basic and applied research, focusing on the creation of new polymers and the study of their physical properties. Within the institute are the Macromolecular Modeling Center, the Applied Polymer Research Center, Microscopy Laboratories and the Magnetic Resonance Center.
Focusing on operations involving small particles such as heterogeneous catalysts, fluid-solid separations, surface coatings, water treatment and energy conversion, students and faculty at the Microscale Physiochemical Engineering Center form multidisciplinary teams to solve specific industrial problems. The center provides a forum for industrial-university cooperation. The center currently hosts a consortium of industrial sponsors for fundamental and applied research in coalescence filtration and use of nanofibers. MPEC faculty also work with a small business in the development of ceramic fiber filters and the Department of Energy to develop fuel cells.
The Polymerization Pilot Plant consists of 1-, 15- and 50-liter reactors to produce prototype quantities of new polymers for evaluation by potential customers. The plant has two sets of reactors, one glass-lined and one Teflon-coated stainless steel, to enable cationic, anionic, free radical and condensation polymerizations. The plant also offers determination of physical, mechanical and chemical properties of polymers. Analytical services include evaluation of polymer processing, such as injection molding, extrusion and thermoforming.