Advanced Process Monitoring & Control
PEM Gateway staff are currently researching novel materials with industrial applications ranging from battery materials to antibacterial glass for mobile phones, waste water treatment to surfaces for operating theatres. The PEM Centre has internationally recognised expertise in the following areas:
Coating Materials: The development of advanced materials that can be used to coat existing products and thus conferring enhanced performance is a corner stone of PEM Gateway materials research. These coatings include a:
i) thermal insulating coating synthesised using high surface area graphene-silica composite aerogels that have near-IR reflective and thermal insulating properties
ii) Coatings with antimicrobial activity that employ photocatalysis/photoactavated titanium dioxide.
Materials for advanced oxidation processes: Current pharmaceutical effluent treatment methods using conventional physical, chemical or biological treatment systems are not efficient, are legislatively constrained and are not economically viable. PEM staff are working with a number of companies to address this problem and are employing various advanced oxidation processes such as photocatalysis and photo-fenton reactions to treat pharmaceutical effluents.
Advanced Additive Manufacturing material development: Additive Manufacturing is a fast-growing sector. Growth has accelerated over the past four years as an increasing number of organisations adopt Additive Manufacturing products and services[i]. Although a wide range of homogenous and heterogeneous material mixtures are employed in additive manufacturing, there is still a need for developing targeted materials for use with each specific AM process. In partnership with industry leaders PEM staff will utilise their AM expertise and our expert PI in Nano Material and Technologies to develop advance AM materials for specific sectorial applications (e.g. graphene polymer in Life sciences applications).
PEM’s expertise in Materials enables industry to work with industry across the touchpoints of materials selection and synthesis in product design and packaging in addition to environmental and robustness testing from a distribution and logistics perspective.
Materials Synthesis, Processing and Characterisation: PEM Gateway researchers are at the cutting edge of materials processing with capabilities in solid state synthesis, thin film fabrication, sol gel technology, sonochemical processing, microwave assisted synthesis, solution processing, hydrothermal methods and have a state of the art research laboratory
Experimental Design and Process Optimisation: Experimental design can be used to make systematic changes to a process, analyse the results of the changes and use this to identify the appropriate process settings to achieve the optimum result. PEM has access to software to support the Experimental Design & Process Optimisation offering.
Statistical Data Analytics: Coherent, accurate, efficient and effective statistical data analysis can be used to significantly improve and control process operations and performance. PEM has access to a range of in-house expertise & software to support statistical data analytics.
Process Control: PEM can facilitate clients in the development and application of real-time process control tracking. Using advanced multivariate statistical tools, real-time process control tracking is capable of gathering hundreds of process measurements with rapid detection of 'abnormal' data. Software tools are used to deliver this technology offering
Example of complex micro & nano-scale structuring