Rheology

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

Fresh Blood at Linkam

 

Blood being sheared in CSS450 shearing cell (50X Olympus Objective lens)

There's nothing quite like fresh blood to shake things up and really get a company buzzing along with renewed vigour and motivation.
 I'm not, as you may have thought, referring to the use of our optical shearing stage to study the deformation and aggregation of blood cells under shear stress - as seen in the above image - although that may have been a nice but blatant plug for this fantastic instrument.  No, I am referring to the influx of yet more new talent here at Linkam.

 

We have recruited another couple of new R&D guys, James Wilkins, who comes to us from Goodrich Engine Control Systems and who rides quite possibly the loudest Triumph Bonneville in Surrey, is working with our mech R&D team and Tom Phillips, who just started last week, fresh with his M.Eng in electronic engineering straight out of University of Newcastle, will be working with our electronics and software guys to develop all kinds of new controllers, notably the new humidity generator.

We also have a new Stores controller.  Russ Forward has, in just a few short weeks, totally revolutionised the control of our stores and has lots of new ideas to improve the efficiency even further.

Lastly, we have Ricky Patel, also a recent graduate, but from University of Surrey and a Medicinal Chemist, joining the sales and marketing team in a customer technical support role.  Ricky will be knocking out lots of great 'How To' videos and updating all the video manuals not to mention helping customers with installation questions.

These guys have all brought buckets of enthusiasm to Linkam and there is no doubt that they will help us develop and support lots of great new products in the future.