RTD-NEWS--- An EU project is bringing science and engineering
together in an attempt to find new processes for dispersing
nanoparticles in liquid forms such as body lotions and
Using nanoparticles in certain
products can make them more attractive to consumers,
for example by making a body lotion less visible on
the skin, or protecting paint from sunlight. But in
order to be effective, the particles must be dispersed
within the liquid. While manufacturers are currently
doing this, 'there is currently no fundamental understanding
of how the engineering parameters interact with the
chemical parameters,' the PROFORM project coordinator,
Dr Gul Ozcan-Taskin, told CORDIS News.
The dispersal process can involve
several steps, depending on the particle type, for
example wetting, dispersing and dissolving. In order
to improve on current methods, the consortium will
investigate each of the components and stages involved
in nanoparticle dispersion, from the properties of
the particles (wettability, porosity, shape, size,
density, aggregate strength), to the liquid's physical
properties and the dispersion itself. It is important
to ensure, for example, that the particles neither
float nor sink, and that aggregates are broken down.
With understanding of these processes, it is hoped
that products can be improved and waste reduced.
The outcomes of PROFORM are
expected to include a design guide for the entire
process, a databank of generic information for characterising
particles, and numerical models for the rheological
properties of suspensions, kinetics of sub-processes,
fluid flow and mixing.
The project brings together
ten partners from industry - both large and small
companies - and academia. The project started in July
2004, and will run for three years with funding from
the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
For further information on
PROFORM, please visit:
CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities