Sustainable Multifunctional Polymeric and Composite Materials


CALL: 2016

DOMAIN: MS - Materials, Physics and Engineering

FIRST NAME: Philippe





KEYWORDS: Multifunctional materials, nanomaterials, composites, bio-based polymers, nano-coating, nanocellulose, sustainable chemistry, surface treatment, reactive processing.

START: 2016-09-01

END: 2017-08-31


Submitted Abstract

This FNR-PEARL proposal, entitled Sustainable Multifunctional Polymeric and Composite Materials – SUSMAT, stands in the context of design, synthesis, processing and applications of novel composite materials articulated on bio-based building blocks. SUSMAT is located at the interface of organic and macromolecular chemistry, chemical engineering, nanotechnology and advanced materials science. The key-objective of this PEARL proposal is to set up a research group of 15 people (about 50% permanent staff) in the field of Multifunctional and Smart Composite Materials at the Materials Research and Technology (MRT) Department of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). Beyond an excellent fit to MRT-LIST’s strategic orientations, the proposed activity matches well with Luxembourg’s considerable activity in polymer-based composite-related industry exemplified by international players like GoodYear, Dupont or Euro-Composites, all of which have important RDI activities in the field in Luxembourg. This strategic alignment with Luxembourg industry is of particular importance within the current creation of a National Composite Centre Luxembourg (NCC-L). Finally, the project presents also a high potential for collaborations with the Engineering (RUES) and Physics and Materials Science (PhyMS) research units of the University of Luxembourg.SUSMAT aims at bringing Luxembourgish RDI activities in the field of composite and hybrid materials to the top-European level. The project will allow acquiring a broad and deep knowledge of the “structure-property-applications” relationships in advanced polymeric composite materials with the aim of discovering new general concepts clearing the way for both understanding and technological applications. Renewable bio-resources will be considered as key-components for high value-added multifunctional nanocomposite/nanohybrid materials, combining nanostructuration processing at both core and surface levels. Based on the state of the art in polymer materials science, SUSMAT will focus via a multi-step approach on three main research topics: (i) extraction and chemical transformation of bio-building blocks from renewable bio-resources, mostly from (nano)cellulose, (ii) formulation in advanced bio-based materials via (reactive) processing, and (iii) optimisation of material performance via chemical and/or physical surface treatment. These research lines will cover both core competencies and new activities at the forefront of science with higher risk. A fourth horizontal research line has the main objective of valorisation by transfering SUSMAT activities to sectors like automobile and electronics. Selected proof-of-concept studies and up-scaling at semi-pilot scale level are foreseen, e.g. via ton-scale (reactive) extrusion processing either in the frame of collaboration with the industry in Luxembourg or through the launch of a spin-off company.

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