Report nanocomposites workshop

14 July 2010

On May 27, 2010, the Van der Valk hotel in Eindhoven was the scene of a DPI workshop on nanocomposites. Over 30 people gathered to discuss the science and technology of these fascinating materials. After an inspiring lecture by professor Costantino Creton, PhD students and other scientists exchanged their problems, their experience and their ideas with the aim to learn from each other, and to strengthen the field of nanocomposites. 

“Why are nanocomposites so interesting for materials research and applications?” That was the main question Costantino Creton raised at the workshop - and that was also the title of his introductory lecture. Professor Creton, active on polymer mechanical properties and interfaces at the French ESPCI ParisTech research institute, focused on the mechanical aspects of nanocomposites. According to him, nanocomposites - especially the polymeric ones - are particularly interesting due to a combination of properties. Because of the large number of interfaces between the polymer and the relatively small fraction of nanosized filler material, the manufacturing of transparent materials with improved mechanical properties is well within range. Furthermore, the size of the filler nanoparticles is comparable to - or even smaller than - the radius of gyration for polymer chains, so nanoparticles are able to influence polymer chain configurations and entanglements. 

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