This proposal concerns research aimed at the development of novel particles for the delivery of active components encapsulated within coating formulations. Specific objectives include the development of encapsulated pigments, cross-linking catalysts, fung icides and fragrances. In each case encapsulating the active will increase its efficiency, thereby reducing the amount of active required achieving the desired benefits. In the case of fungicides and fragrances, the timescale over which these materials are released will also be considerably extended, greatly increasing their efficacy. Delivering these benefits into a coating formulation is a long-term goal of the industry. The particles will be produced using mini-emulsion polymerisation methods.
However, to achieve the required particle properties new developments in mini-emulsion technology will be required. Firstly, the range of polymers that it is possible to produce by mini-emulsion methods will be developed to allow the synthesis of highly crystalline polymer particles - the high barrier properties of such materials to water and oxygen being necessary for the protection of some actives. Secondly, optimisation of the polymerisation methods used will be necessary to allow the incorporation of potentially reactive components into the polymer particles without any participation of the active species in the polymerisation reaction.
The candidate is well qualified to perform the work, having skills in the preparation and characterization of polymer nano-particles of controlled size, morphology and internal structure and experience in the application of polymer particles micro-carriers and coatings technology. The research training will be complemented by the provision of broader business and personal development training delivered via the ICI European Graduate Development Programme. The project will facilitate co-operation between Europe and Chinese academia, thus fulfilling an objective of the MC IIF.
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