Polymer Institute

topResearchFrom the packaging industry to automotive and everything in between, the Polymer Institute has aided companies, large and small, with research and development. With up-to-date facilities and knowledgeable staff, we are equipped to help you with your next project!

All contract work is carried out by full-time research personnel. Past and current graduate students working towards both a MS ChE degree and a PhD in Engineering Science have done research in the areas of blends, orientation effects, property enhancement and evaluation and polymer processing. Almost all our students have taken the opportunity to publish the results of their research in recognized journals in the polymer area. Contract work, however is considered proprietary to the customer and is not published unless the customer so desires.


 

packagingPackaging
polySEMpolyesters and barrier materials consortium
automotiveAutomotive
 
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 Packaging

The Polymer Institute continues to find the packaging industry a primary requester of our services. These requests range from simple service requests which take just a few days to long range research projects which may last a year or more. One method of categorizing our support is shown below.

  • Materials and property characterization continues be the largest component of our research contributions in packaging. Mechanical, thermal, and processing characteristics are those which are usually requested. The Institute has also been involved in several projects related to chemical induced stress cracking
  • In addition to evaluating materials, we also evaluate structures. Past projects have dealt with evaluating compression response of corrugated plastic piping, gasoline permeation behavior of multilayer containers and determining the failure method of plastic pressure-measurement instruments.
  • We do a lot of work with composite materials, particularly with blends and multilayer structures. Mixers, twin screw extruders plus the auxiliary equipment exist to support our capabilities of producing blends and analyzing the resultant materials.
  • Another very large contribution to the packaging industry falls into the category of experimental process evaluation. We have the experimental capability to produce samples for the lab scale production of PET containers. This includes both the injection molding of the parison and the making of the container via one of our two reheat-and-blow machines. Other projects have dealt with the evaluation of new extrusion processes and with the processing of multilayer containers.
  • Process design and analysis is many times best handles through the use of computer simulation. The institute's staff have extensive experience in the production and use of custom computer simulations to analyze processes and in the use of design. A very diverse set of problems have been successfully completed ranging from multilayer die design to evaluation of a reheat-and-blow process to a simulation of multi-phase flow dealing with the melting and flow of plastic in a new extrusion process.

 Polyesters and Barrier Materials Consortium

Poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET and copolyesters have become materials of choice for many new applications in the household, chemical, electronic, automotive, food, beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical markets. That is why several of the world's largest and fastest growing national and international corporations have teamed up with the University of Toledo's Polymer Institute to explore new research possibilities as members of the PET/Polyester Industrial Consortium.

The consortium's mission is to discover new applications as well as processing and property improvements for the versatile polyester materials. Research investigations include interrelationships among material properties, fabrication processes, and end-use performance. The research programs are carried out at the Polymer Institute, part of the University of Toledo's College of Engineering. New projects are continuously being developed with the direction of consortium members. In addition to benefiting the industrial community in terms of research, the consortium also trains young scientists and engineers in cutting edge polyester technology. Companies thus benefit from discoveries, new material applications, and also from the fresh pool of able young researchers who help to develop these results. Consortium members share in funding a core of research programs focused on PET and copolyesters. Funds are used for conducting research and for direct support of graduate students and professional staff engaged in specific research programs at the Polymer Institute. Results are shared equally with all members through regular written reports and oral review meetings.

Additionally, research investigations include elucidation of interrelationships among material properties, fabrication processes, and end-use material performance. Consortium members share in funding specific polyester research programs conducted at the Polymer Institute. Results of these programs are shared equally with all members through regular written reports and oral review meetings. The Active Barrier Packaging Consortium was established in January of 2005. The purpose of this second consortium is to further extend and expand the areas of research activities and interactions of the Polymer Institute with industry. The expanded research and development activities are concentrated to cover active barrier packaging technologies.

Interested parties can contact any of the Polymer Institute staff for more information.

 Automotive

The Polymer Institute provides assistance to the automotive companies, which generally fall into the following four areas.

  • The Institute has been actively involved in permeation testing of both materials and containers for fuel barrier properties. Samples can be made in-house ranging from sheet to multilayer containers.
  • A second area involves both material development and property analysis of new materials for mechanical, barrier and processability characteristics. Facilities are available for blending and extrusion of new materials.
  • Supplementing these activities is a small staff experienced in computer simulation. This expertise has been applied to simulations of injection molding of fenders and multilayer die head design.
  • Another area involves qualification and performance testing. Thermal stability and stress crack analyses are just two of the areas in which the Polymer Institute has aided the automotive industry.
Last Updated: 2/14/17