Thermoplastic Elastomers 2011 - Brussels

 Linkam equipment on display at TPE 2011

Last week, I again delved into the world of Polymer science when I attended the 14th International Conference on Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE's) which was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Brussels.

The main focus of the two day event was on how this innovative class of speciality engineered materials can be used in various different applications. These materials provide a hybridity between plastic processing and elastomeric functionality which has lead to an increase in market demand within the medical, industrial, electrical fields, just to name a few. The variety of applications for TPE's was highlighted by the diversity in the contents of the talks; which ranged from the use of TPE's in athletic footwear to how they can be used to reduce the cost of baby diapers.   

There was a lot of interest from the delegates in our Linkam stages and there was much intrigue in regards to the TST350 (Tensile Stress Testing Stage) and CSS450 (Optical Rheology Stage) which were being exhibited at the conference. 

It was a thoroughly enjoyable few days, not least for fantastic Belgian chocolate shop located right opposite the hotel! I would like to thank Helen and Sharon at iSmithers Rapra for their hospitality and for putting on such a great show. 

Posted by Ricky Patel

Linkam CSS450 System used in Polymer Crystallization studies

The Linkam CSS450 Shear System has been used in exciting research by the Polymer Technology Group at the University of Salerno to study polymer crystallization enhanced by flow. An improved understanding of flow-enhanced crystallization can help to tailor advanced transformation processes like injection-moulding and extrusion.

The Linkam CSS450 was chosen for its ability to accurately control changes in temperature and shear rate on the micro scale. Professor Pantani said that "Prior to our having the CSS450, understanding the analysis was just qualitative. Now we are able to complete unique quantitative analyses. We have been able to calculate the evolution of the nucleation density during the crystallization under shear using our own specialised image analysis software."

Thanks to Professors Giuseppe Titomanlio, Roberto Pantani and their colleagues at the University of Salerno for sharing their interesting application with us.

Posted by Rosie Hider