As we approach the 21st century, the processing of polymeric materials will continue to be an important segment of the entire manufacturing industry. With the continued expansion of engineering polymers into new applications having stringent performance requirements, a thorough understanding of the processability and properties of polymeric materials becomes more important. In this field there is a vital link between initial manufacturing conditions and final product performance.
Polymer processing involves applying heat and pressure to shape a raw material into an article of a pre-defined geometry. During manufacturing, the polymer will likely undergo several phase changes. Thus, a critical aspect of the processing operation is to be able to measure and predict the temperature and velocity gradients the polymer experiences during the processing operation. The processing environment, in turn, will strongly influence the properties of the shaped article.
The Mechanical Engineering department at UW-Madison is one of the few departments worldwide having a wide breadth of research areas in polymer processing. Faculty members in our group have theoretical, experimental and numerical expertise in polymer processing.
Our research is funded by several industrial sponsors as well as state and federal agencies. Industries can fund particular projects which address their specific problems, providing direct access to those results and other research results. Regular visits from industry to our research laboratories, and visits by students and faculty to industry sites, lead to an exchange of technology between the Polymer Processing Research Group and U.S. and international industry. This exchange also provides industry with early opportunities to employ graduates of our research group.
Up to date as of: 26-Jul-2007.
Last modified: 05-Feb-1007.
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