Nist/Industry Consortium To Tackle Complex Polymer Interphases – National Institute of Standards and Technology – Brief Article
The non-stick coating on a frying pan, the coat of paint on a car bumper and the multiple layers of fibers and polymers in a tire–what keeps them together? In all three cases, it’s the interface region or interphase, the area where the molecules of two materials interact with each other.
The interphase is vital to the durability and performance of nanocomposites, particle-filled materials, paints on plastics and metals, and fiber-reinforced polymer composites. In December, NIST and industry partners established the Consortium on Characterization and Modeling of the Interface and Interphases of Polymeric Materials and Systems (also known as the Polymers Interphase Consortium or PIC) to conduct a 3 year investigation of the chemical, physical and morphological characteristics of the interface/interphase region.
Material properties in the interphase are different from those of the bulk materials being joined together. With computer models, as well as with laboratory tests of both polymer blends and polymer films on various substrates, the scientists expect to learn how properties at or near the interphase region change with processing conditions and diverse external stresses (such as different temperatures and humidities). Such information could help manufacturers reduce costs for products and increase their international competitiveness. Three NIST laboratories are participating in the consortium, along with manufacturers from the plastics, paint and automotive parts sectors.
The consortium is open to new industrial members until May 15, 2001. For more information, contact Tinh Nguyen, (301) 975-6718, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Charles Han, (301) 975-6772, email@example.com.
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