Modeling acrylate polymerisation
Hightech Materials funding for "PhoTo" project
Professor Piet Iedema of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences has recently been awarded 200.000 euro in the STW "Hightech Materials" funding scheme for his research project "Photocuring created network Topologies" (PhoTo). In cooperation with Océ, a Canon company, he will model the photo-initiated curing of acrylate-based polymers. It is expected this will lead to better control of the properties of polyacrylate materials, for instance in future 3-D printing.
Acrylate-based films form the basis for many commercial applications including future 3D-printing. In the industrial practice the properties of the film are effectively controlled by formulating an adequate mix of acrylates of varying functionality. The objective of the PhoTo project is to gain better control of the material properties by employing a model enabling the optimization of process conditions, especially the acrylate mix composition.
At the HIMS research group Computational Polymer Chemistry professor Iedema will develop a mathematical model of the photo-initiated radical polymerization process that predicts the acrylate network’s topology expressed as connectivity between linear strands of monomer units. In cooperation with materials researchers from Océ the model will be used to link product quality in terms of various measurable mechanical properties (e.g. elasticity) and thermodynamic properties (glass transition temperature) to adjustable process conditions and the composition of the acrylate mix.
The PhoTo project is one of seven recently selected research projects in the Hightech Materials funding scheme. This has been initiated by the Topsector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM) and is supported by the Technology Foundation STW, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on matter FOM and the Materials innovation institute (M2i). It aims at stimulating materials research in The Netherlands in area's identified in the Hightech Materials roadmap, cooperatively composed by academic researchers and industry representatives in the field of materials science.
The 200.000 euro funding for the PhoTo project is jointly provided by STW and Océ and allows Iedema to appoint a PhD researcher for the course of the project.