About the Multidisciplinary Seminar Program

Created in 1995, the Escola Tecnica Superior d'Enginyeria Quimica (ETSEQ) at Universitat Rovira i Virgili aims at becoming an international reference in chemical engineering education and research. The ETSEQ is located in an area that is socially and economically very dynamic, and that is home to one of the most important centers of chemical industry in southern Europe.

The Multidisciplinary Seminar Program is both the seminar series for faculty and researchers in the ETSEQ, and a mandatory class for its graduate students. The Program aims at inviting leading international researchers working on areas that are of interest to faculty and researchers in the School.

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Next seminar (Nov. 10, 2017)

Development of polymer nanocomposites based on poly(ether ether ketone) and carbon nanotubes (Ana MÂȘ Diez Pascual)

Location: Sala de Graus, ETSEQ
Start time: 12 p.m.

Abstract:

Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) is a semicrystalline high-performance thermoplastic polymer widely used in the aeronautic and aerospace industries. Since its commercialization in 1981 many studies have been reported on the improvement of the thermal and mechanical properties of PEEK via incorporation of reinforcements both at the microscale (glass or carbon fiber) and nanoscale (metal oxide nanoparticles or nanofibers).
On the other hand, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are an allotrope form of carbon, such as diamond, graphite or fullerenes, with excellent mechanical, electrical and thermal properties, that display a tubular structure with a diameter in the nanometer size.
In this seminar, different strategies to incorporate CNTs in PEEK such as pre-dispersion via mechanical techniques, the use of compatibilizing agents and the covalent grafting of a polymer derivative to the surface of the CNTs will be described. These strategies significantly improve the CNT dispersion and their interfacial adhesion with the polymer matrix, leading to unprecedented enhancements in the thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of PEEK with very low CNT concentration. In terms of an industrial application, this implies a weight reduction, and consequently, a reduction of costs and pollutant emissions. The developed materials are multifunctional, and simultaneously exhibit low density, very high strength, and elevated electrical and thermal conductivity. They are ideal candidates for the fabrication of low-weight structures to be used in the transport industries (aerospace, automotive, naval and railway). They can also be employed as anti-static coatings or electromagnetic shields, as well as wind generator blades or solar panel substrates.

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