Official site: http://exclaim.org.uk/.
The Clay-Polymer Nanocomposite Group consists of a collaboration of researchers at three leading UK Universities, working together to gain a fuller understanding of clay-polymer nanocomposite systems.
The five principal objectives of the project are:
- To design and synthesise libraries of 'monomer' additives which can intercalate clay galleries and be capable of crosslinking or polymerisation in situ .
- To define the range of minerals which can be incorporated in nanocomposites with appropriate pretreatments, and in so doing delineate the exfoliation criteria.
- To explore processing (shape forming) operations for nanocomposites of both low and high mineral contents.
- To prepare bulk nanocomposites at varying mineral volume fractions for mechanical testing as a function of orientation (modulus, Poisson's ratio, toughness, strength) and for moisture and heat resistance.
- To develop a fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms of intercalation and polymerisation within the clay galleries using molecular simulation and informatics-based techniques.
The research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under the Chemistry at the Materials Interface funding initiative.