Our Processing group has the capability to simulate the process conditions in your production facilities using a minimum amount of material. Monofilament or film extrusion, for example, can be simulated using only a few kilograms of material. We are also able to handle very delicate operations, such as applying just a few micrograms of material to a sample with the help of an inkjet printer.
By working with small quantities of material, we are able to screen a large number of recipes in a very short time, which means you quickly get to know what the possibilities of your material are.
Some examples of our Processing projects:
PTG/e collaborated with a customer from the semiconductor industry on the development of a low-cost, low-energy carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor. Such a sensor type will for example make it possible in the future to measure the CO2 concentration of air with the help of a smartphone.
Our role in the project was to optimise the material used in the sensor, develop a fast screening method based on IR spectroscopy and “print” material onto the sensor chips provided using inkjet printing technology.
Also, a new type of polymer had to be developed for next-generation gas sensors. The PTG/e lab developed a three-component polymer system that was successfully printed onto an electric sensor. The system was deemed so promising that our customer took out a patent on it.
A customer of PTG/e wanted several amines for the modification of Nylon to be introduced in the market. In order to understand the diversity and possibillities of the different products, PTG/e was asked to perform these modifications on a lab-scale.
With the accumulated knowledge about the synthesis and the properties, not only the customer wanted to sell the product, but also wanted to assist own customers with the obtained knowledge.
PTG/e has screened several amines in combination with different Nylons (PA6, 6.6 and 12). During synthesis the molecular weight was analysed (GPC). Afterwards the materials were further processed into sheets (compression moulding) or filaments (extrusion). These materials were then tested for their thermal (DSC and TGA), mechanical (tensile test) and optical (transparancy) properties.
As an end result PTG/e delivered a complete overview of the Nylon modification with amines, containing:
- Synthesis recipes & reaction profile
- Polymer properties (thermal, mechanical, ...)
- New applications and patents for the customer
Material recipe optimalisation
A customer wants to optimise the material recipes for a specific application, but is not able to do this in house. PTG/e has the opportunities to perform these small scale experiments in its processing lab, using double screw extruders or batch kneaders.
As a customer you can be present during these experiments. In that way it is possible to immediately adjust the research plan if needed, based on the results obtained so far.
After producing several batches with different recipes these materials can be compression moulded into sheets for further analysis. Mechanical properties can be obtained with tensile testing or DMTA. Thermal properties can be obtained via DSC and TGA analyses. Possible degradation during processing can be determined by analysing the molecular weight using GPC.
When a good recipe has been found, it can be compounded on kg scale. This material batch is then pelletised into granules. Customers can then use these granules for a test on their own production line.
Equipment and Techniques
PTG/e has various lab extruders (single screw, twin screw) and mixers. The analytical techniques used by our Processing group include mechanical testing (tensile and impact strength), infrared (IR) spectroscopy and microscopy.
Read more about the equipment and techniques we use:Equipment & Techniques