Nanocomposites to go large at Warwick

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A new £4.1m facility to be created by Warwick Manufacturing Group is expected to give industry the knowledge it requires to manufacture large scale nanocomposite parts.

According to WMG, the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM) will exploit polymer processing techniques that will enable industry to innovate their manufacturing technologies to produce polymer nanocomposites.

Through synthesising and functionalising nanoparticles and incorporating such particles into polymers using innovative manufacturing techniques, industry will be able to scale up and commercialise products with added functionality.

A team of 50 academics and researchers will work collaboratively with other academic groups and industrial partners - national and international - on fundamental and applied research projects in the field of nanocomposites with application in industries including telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, security and medicine.

The research activities within the Institute are said to align closely with other work carried out at WMG, particularly those in lightweighting and composites where nanoparticles can be added to polymers and foams to introduce functionality to structural components.

In a statement, Prof Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman of WMG said ‘The research and development expectations of industry are increasing and we need to be at the forefront of enabling them to develop world class products. This is why we are creating the first institute, in the world, that will enable industry to manufacture large scale nanocomposite parts.’

Prof Tony McNally, chair in Nanocomposites at WMG and is leading the build of the IINM said ‘I am extremely excited to be establishing a world first at WMG. Whilst the outputs from the IINM will directly impact industry, the research that will be undertaken will be rooted in fundamental engineering science.’

The IINM is the third new initiative at WMG this year, the first being the £100m National Automotive Innovation Campus that is due to open in 2016.