Funding Organization: China Scholarship Council 
Industrial Sector: Multisectorial
Region: International
Project Period: 2011 – 2014
Principal Investigators: Dr. Juan José Vilatela (juanjose.vilatela@imdea.org) and Prof. Javier Llorca (javier.llorca@imdea.org)

The development of advanced polymer materials for applications such as aerospace, automobiles and electronics requires the manufacture of advanced polymer composites with enhanced multifunctional properties (e.g., thermal stability, impact resistance, cost-effective). Polymer nanocomposites, based on polymer matrices (thermoplastics, thermosets and elastomers) and nano-reinforced fillers (layered silicates/clay/carbon nanotubes), exhibit markedly enhanced mechanical, thermal, gas barrier properties and good flame retardancy, owing to the nanometric dispersion of the filled particles in polymer matrices. In addition to the improved physico-chemical properties, the ease of preparation through simple processes such as exfoliation adsorption, in situ intercalative polymerization and melt mixing make polymer nanocomposites a very promising material for high performance demands in many high-tech applications. However, a lot of research remains to be further investigated, including the utilization of environmentally friendly polymers, the improvement of the adhesion and compatibility between the polymer matrices and nanofillers, and the effects of chemical modification of polymers/nanofillers on the desired properties such as fire retardancy and mechanical reinforcement.

This project aims at producing multifunctional nanocomposites that are less energy intensive throughout their complete lifecycle than those currently available.

The research activities of this project will lead to a doctoral thesis within the doctorate program of the Polytechnic University of Madrid under the scientific supervision of Dr. Juan José Vilatela and Prof. Javier LLorca.

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