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FLow Induced Phase Transitions, A new low energy paradigm for polymer processing

FLow Induced Phase Transitions, A new low energy paradigm for polymer processing

Objective

Currently there is no truly sustainable pathway for the production of plastics, an industry which in the EU employs 1.45M people, has a turnover of €89B but consumes ~778GWh of energy per annum. This is an opportunity for industry with pressure increasing to develop low energy, high-quality, wet-processing techniques for consumer products. Here Nature may provide us with inspiration, as over hundreds of millions of years, it has evolved numerous strategies for efficient processing of its materials. One such solution has been recently hypothesised in natural silk spinning: FLIPT: FLow Induced Phase Transitions, a disruptive process which we believe could hold the key to a new low energy paradigm for polymer processing. Our research is promising, as it has already shown that silk is at least 1000 times more efficient at processing than a standard polymer (HDPE).

To address these challenges our consortia will combine the expertise of world-leading groups in natural materials, polymer synthesis and material processing alongside practical input from 2 SME partners and larger European companies. Taking inspiration from the spider and silkworm, novel functionalised polymers (‘aquamelts’) will be created that utilise FLIPT; enabling controlled solidification with minimal energy input. We firmly believe that there is huge potential in uncovering silks hidden functionality and applying it to enhance the processing of a range of polymeric materials. It is our goal to develop a platform technology to generate novel, bespoke, naturally derived, low embodied-energy materials, which would be competitive with current petroleum-based polymers in terms of performance and economics while well exceeding such materials in terms of sustainability.
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Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

Address

Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2tn Sheffield

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 253 606

Participants (8)

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THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 405 850

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 615 441

AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Denmark

EU Contribution

€ 411 742,50

LEIBNIZ-INSTITUT FUR POLYMERFORSCHUNG DRESDEN EV

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 349 326

UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 296 368,75

INSTITUTO DE TECNOLOGIA QUIMICA E BIOLOGICA - UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA

Portugal

OXFORD BIOMATERIALS LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 151 490

SPINNOVA OY

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 258 046

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 713475

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2016

  • End date

    31 December 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 741 871,25

  • EU contribution

    € 3 741 870,25

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD

United Kingdom