by Suman Gupta
· Collaboration with Polymer Science and Engineering department of University of Massachusetts Amherst
· Access to academic research on structure-property relationships, additive manufacturing and novel flame retardants
· Access to state of the art analytical instrument facility and expertise
The Urethane Systems business unit of specialty chemicals company LANXESS decided to join the Center for UMass/Industry Research on Polymers (CUMIRP) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, in order to enhance its scientific research on next generation materials. CUMIRP acts as a cross-roads where university research and education meet with industrial partners in polymer materials, engineering and processing to leverage resources and foster collaboration. LANXESS will join Flammability Cluster (Cluster F) and Mechanical Properties & Additive Manufacturing Cluster (Cluster M). This collaboration targets the development of novel urethane materials, it focuses on in-depth understating of structure-property relationships to develop new process methods and new chemistries. The collaboration will come into effect on October 2017.
In the long run LANXESS expects cost savings through sophisticated, highly efficient solutions as well as benefits in business competition by using progressive technologies and the recruiting of qualified specialists. Furthermore, access to other companies who could be potential partners and/or customers will be provided.
Dr. Polina Ware, Head of Global Research and Development at LANXESS Urethane Systems business unit: “The research clusters are targeted towards specific research areas and allow small team dynamics and interactions as well as collaboration between industrial members, faculty and students. This team-oriented approach fosters cross-industry collaboration as well as gives us access to top experts in polymer science as consultants. As members of Cluster M and F, we expect to gain potential cost savings and business growth though new product innovation.”
Polymer research at the highest level : The Polymer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the leading institute on polymer science in the USA and one of the largest academic centers for polymer research in the world, with currently more than 200 scientists, USD 24 million in instrumentation and over 600 doctoral degrees awarded.
A key figure in the academic collaboration for Urethane Systems is scientist Alan Lesser from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who is a world expert in deformation and fracture of polymers and composites. His research focuses on strength, durability, and micromechanics of polymer blends and composites, nano and molecular composites, constructive modeling of polymers in complex stress states as well as unique processing methods and multi-functional additives. As of 2016, the group is focusing on next-generation Additive Manufacturing formulations. Furthermore, Lesser is editor-in-chief for the technical media Polymer Engineering and Science Journal, Polymer Composites, and Journal of Vinyl & Additives Technology.
The previous relationship, under the roof of Chemtura, which was taken over by the LANXESS group in April 2017, comprised targeted research in flame retardants and urethanes structured foams.