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									        Professor Martin Buggy
Research Connections Polymer Workshop
          Athlone 22/04/2009
    Polymer Science teaching
• Modules in Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Science
  (solid state properties /viscoelasticity/rubber
  elasticity) and Polymer Process Engineering
  taught to various Science and Engineering
  undergraduate courses.
• Polymers feature strongly in modules on
  Composite Materials and Biomedical Materials
  taught to undergraduate and postgraduate
          Polymer facilities
Processing Facilities
 – Good quality modern single screw extruder
 – Good quality small injection moulder
 – Satisfactory compression press
 – Old vacuum former
 – Old blown film tower
 • Excellent thermal, thermomechanical, static
   and dynamic mechanical testing
 • Good chemical analysis and microscopy
    Faculty with specific Polymer
         Science expertise
• Prof. Colin Birkinshaw, MST
  – Associate Professor of Polymer Science
• Dr. J J Leahy, CES
  – Senior Lecturer
• Dr. Gordon Armstrong, MSSI
  – Institute Research Fellow
• Dr Lukasz Figiel, MAE
  – Lecturer
• Prof. Martin Buggy, MST and MSSI
  – Professor of Engineering Materials
      Interaction with Industry
• Mainly through industrially sponsored or
  HE/Industry funded post-graduate research
• Most polymer projects with healthcare and
  biomedical companies.
• Small amount of in-house educational and
  training programmes.
• Since the demise of Materials Ireland PAT, no
  short-term focussed projects undertaken.
   Industrially-funded research
• Sterilisation of biomedical polymers
• Polymers for contact lenses (Vistakon)
• Hydrophilic coating of PVDF membranes
• Polyphosphazine adhesives (EI/Adhesives
• Hydrogels for adhesives (Adhesives
             Research Interests Prof. C.
•   Polymers in orthopaedic devices (often in conjunction with Stryker)
            -Detailed morphological analysis of the polyethylenes used in these devices

              -Development of the biomimetic joint using compliant layers to improve tribological behaviour. This
    work involves both materials and design development with different material combinations are being evaluated in
    joints of various sizes and design.

           -Bone filler and repair materials are being investigated. It is hoped to develop a putty like bone filler
    based on resorbable polymer systems.

•   Polymers as drug delivery and release vehicles.

           -Nanoparticle encapsulation and delivery is of interest. Systems being examined include those based
    on cyanoacrylate polymers, lactide and glycolide polymers and polycation systems.
Polymer nanocomposites (Dr Figiel, MAE Department)

1. Optimisation of processing
conditions for PET-based
nanocomposites for packaging
applications                    2 m

2. Performance enhancement
of polymeric foams with
nanoparticles (nanoclay,
carbon nanotubes)

3. Elastomers reinforced with
carbon nanotubes for sensors
and actuators                          +
    Composites Research Centre (CRC)
         Description of Centre
• The Composite Research Centre (CRC), University of
  Limerick is an established research grouping within the
  Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI), and is
  also an officially designated Centre of the University of
  Limerick. It consists of six permanent members of
  academic staff, viz.:
• Prof. Martin Buggy
• Dr. Conor McCarthy
• Prof. Michael McCarthy (Co-Director)
• Prof. Noel O’Dowd
• Dr. Walter Stanley
• Dr. Trevor Young (Co-Director)
• and over 20 researchers (postgrads/postdocs).
                CRC Activities
• CRC’s mission is to undertake basic and applied
  research in all aspects of high performance composite
  materials and associated structures, including
  manufacture, properties characterisation and theoretical
• The Centre has enjoyed significant success in
  competitive research competitions, largely concerning
  lightweight, safety-critical applications, such as those
  found in modern aircraft structures.
• The Centre plans to expand its activities into other
  industries that are increasing their use of composite
  materials (e.g. biomedical devices, sports goods,
  automotive, construction, marine, energy production and
  electrical products) through new initiatives.
                    CRC Facilities
• The Centre is currently in the midst of a major expansion in its
• Equipment currently being procured include a new autoclave (the
  only such facility in an Irish University) for manufacture of composite
  materials, a hot draper former for out-of-autoclave composites
  manufacture, a high strain rate tensile test machine including a
  digital image correlation system for testing of materials at rates
  up to 20 m/s, and an x-ray system and portable ultrasonic system
  for non-destructive evaluation of materials.
• Laboratories are also being refurbished and upgraded, including the
  provision of a dedicated composite material layup/preparation
  room with environmental control and a dedicated composite
  material cutting/machining room with air extraction (complying
  with modern health and safety standards).
Recent Industrially-funded research
• The CRC is currently receiving direct funding
• Airbus
   – Global Bolted Composite Joint Modelling
  - Friction Testing and Modelling in Composite Joints
• Bombardier Aerospace
   – Rain Erosion of Composite Leading Edge Materials
• EU funded SME Consortium
   – Recycling of Composite Materials

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