Nano Coatings


UniS Scientists to lead €7m Nanomaterials Project


A team from the University of Surrey (UniS) is to play a leading role in a recently launched €7M project to develop new types of coatings, adhesives and cosmetics with outstanding properties. The international project, called NAPOLEON, was launched on 3 June with a meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels.

The UniS team is one of 21 within this EU-wide collaboration, comprised of teams drawn from eight countries and from nine European companies. The UniS team will lead the research on how to transform polymer nanoparticles into useful products, such as paints and sticky tape.

Research at UniS is being directed by Dr. Joe Keddie, of the Soft Condensed Matter Physics Group, which is part of the UniS Materials Institute (UMI). At the meeting, Dr. Keddie was elected to the Executive Board of the project and took up his post on the project management team. Professor Peter McDonald and Dr. Alan Dalton, in the same research group, are contributing to the project.

Dr Keddie says: “We expect NAPOLEON will make breakthroughs in structured plastics known as nanomaterials. We will use ultra-small, two-phase plastic particles, just a few billionths of a meter across, to control the structure of products to give them amazing properties.”

Among the expected breakthrough properties in the new materials are good adhesion to porous substrates, increased hardness, strength and wear-resistance with low dirt pick-up, higher impermeability to liquids and gases, and greater fire resistance. The technology will also offer energy savings in production and transport.

The research at UniS will be carried out within the new UMI laboratories that have been renovated with £3.6m funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The European Commission is contributing nearly € 0.5m to support three full-time UniS researchers.

As a result of the NAPOLEON project, European industry - especially SMEs - will benefit from the introduction of new, value-added products into a competitive world market. As an example, in coatings alone there are 2500 European companies (including 1500 SMEs), employing a total of about 100,000 people and making products with a value of € 15.4 billion.

Notes :

The University of Surrey is one of the UK's leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 110 companies employing 2,700 staff.

The 2005 Guardian University League Table placed the University of Surrey 16th overall for its undergraduate programmes (out of 122 UK universities), which along with recognition from The Sunday Times for being ‘The University for Jobs', underlines UniS' growing reputation for providing high quality, relevant degrees.

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