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Perfect score for FYSC at FWO individual fellowships 2019

Perfect score for FYSC at FWO individual fellowships 2019

10.10.2019

All three of the applicants affiliated to the FYSC research group of VUB have been granted individual PhD fellowships from the Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) Flanders. Congratulations to Jessica, Ellen and Marlies for obtaining these prestigious grants!

Interreg project 'Concrete to concrete', master thesis, Recovery of sand fraction

01.09.2019 - 01.02.2020

Concrete is used worldwide and its production needs tremendous amounts of sand. The recycling of end-of-life concrete becomes more and more interesting economically and environmentally. Application for particles larger than 4 mm are already existing, however, the fine fraction below 4 mm caused some issues, namely the separation of the hardened cement paste glued on others particles. In this report is investigated how different treatments influence the properties of this fraction. Thus this report presents the characterization of mortars made from CEM I were the sand has been replaced by the product of different treatment. Coming from a batch where the size distribution the recycled concrete was first sieved (with sieve openings of : 4mm, 2mm, 1mm, 0.5mm, 0.212mm, 0.125mm, 0.063mm) before being dehydrated at 550°C. or 750°C, then some of the material was softly milled in planetary ball mill in order to break hardened cement paste. To look at the impact of temperature and milling, XRD and XRF and sieving analysis were carried out. XRD pointed out different changes in microstructure depending of the temperature of treatment. XRF and PSD analysis showed how the different milling parameters influenced size and composition. Finally mortars were casted with dehydrated fines or milled material as sand replacement to compare with mortar with fresh sand. Compression tests and resoanalysis showed that after 28 days the sample with dehydrated fines had strength 10% smaller comparing to the reference, on the other hand the compressive strength of mortars with milled material was 2.5 times smaller than the reference. Concerning Young’s modulus, both sets where fresh sand was replaced have a modulus about two times smaller than the reference. These results give good hopes and many paths to explore so that one day sand could be replaced by some cheap recycled cement material without great mechanical properties losses and thus making concrete industry more environmentally sustainable. (Hugo Keller, Master thesis)

Workshop on Sorption Technology: The key methods in investigating moisture sorption properties

Workshop on Sorption Technology: The key methods in investigating moisture sorption properties

27.02.2019 - 27.02.2019

The workshop is aimed for industry professionals, researchers and PhD students. Attendees will gain better understanding on the uses and benefits of most advanced sorption techniques. Date: Wednesday, 27th Feb 2019 Time: 11:30 – 3:30 (CET) Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium Presenter: Dr. Naima Ali. For information and registration: https://www.surfacemeasurementsystems.com/vrije/

Solvay Award 2017 granted to Joost Brancart for his PhD in self-healing polymers

Solvay Award 2017 granted to Joost Brancart for his PhD in self-healing polymers

30.05.2018 - 30.06.2019

The Solvay Award Jury recently announced that dr. Joost Brancart will be the recipient of a Solvay Award 2017 for his PhD entitled "Thermophysical and chemical characterization of Dynamic Covalent Polymer Network Systems: Stimuli-responsive materials for self-healing applications", which he successfully defended in front of the award jury composed of academic and industrial experts. The award will be presented during the public lectures organised by the international Solvay Institutes of Chemistry and Physics on Sunday October 21st, 2018. Congratulations Joost !

Interreg project 'concrete to concrete' launched

Interreg project 'concrete to concrete' launched

01.03.2018 - 28.02.2021

In this project, concrete will be crushed into its consituents, (hydrated)cement, sand and coarse aggregates (smaartcrusher technology). The cement wil be regenerated in a microwave furnace. In this way new high added value concrete can be produced from waste concrete. To diminish the use of raw materials, fibre reinforced concrete will be produced with 3-D fibre mats and recycled fractions. This project will be executed in the interreg region 'Flanders-The Netherlands'.

PhD position non-traditional cements

01.01.2018

VUB-FYSC is looking for a doctoral student in the area of non-traditional cements. Candidates should have a master degree in chemical or materials Engineering, chemistry, geology or equivalent. The work will be applied and experimental rather than theoretical, but a sound theoretical background is necessary. Knowledge of material characterization techniques (thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, infrared, Vicat, …) is an asset. One project probably starts on January 2018, another position starts on March 2018. If interested, please send your cv to hrahier@vub.be. Details on the research group can be found on http://www.vub.ac.be/MACH/FYSC/ General information on doing a PhD at the university can be found on http://www.vub.ac.be/en/phd#phd.

Science and pintjes brussels

Science and pintjes brussels

23.09.2017 - 23.09.2017

You like science and pintjes ? So, come to see Maxime to hear about organic solar cells during a science outreach event in a bar, with a relaxed atmosphere and beers/drinks.

Robots can heal themselves - paper published in Science Robotics

Robots can heal themselves - paper published in Science Robotics

16.08.2017

Our paper featuring self-healing soft robotics was published in Science Robotics, including being on the cover !!! Soft robotics are rapidly gaining importance for applications involving the handling fragile objects or interactions with humans. However, due to the intrinsic softness of the materials employed, they are quite sensitive to small cuts or perforations. In this paper, reversible covalent networks based on the Diels-Alder reaction between furan- and maleimide-functionalised molecules where used to build self-healing robotic actuators. Actuators that were cut or perforated nearly completely regain their properties after healing them with a little heating. Due to the concept of the material, healing repeated damage in the same location is feasible and the material can be recycled. Our work on the development of self-healing polymers and their application was supported by the European Research Council (ERC), Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO), and the Strategic Initiative Materials in Flanders (SIM). Reference: Seppe Terryn, Joost Brancart, Dirk Lefeber, Guy Van Assche and Bram Vanderborght, "Self-healing soft pneumatic robots", Science Robotics 16 Aug 2017: Vol. 2, Issue 9, eaan4268

Maxime Defour Invited Speaker for Instituto Cervantes and CEBE

Maxime Defour Invited Speaker for Instituto Cervantes and CEBE

16.06.2017

Instituto Cervantes and CEBE (Spanish Scientists in Belgium) organize a round table to discuss the potential of solar energy. They will host a set of panellists who will give us an insight on the matter from an artistic, social and scientific point of view. Thanks to Ruben Salgado’s photographies– which will be part of the first photo festival Brassage Photographique in Villiers- they will be able to realize the lives of inhabitants of remote areas who, for the first time, have access to electricity through the power of solar energy. Photovoltaic cells are devices that convert the energy of light directly into electricity. Maxime Defour – who does a PhD on this subject at VUB- will introduce the state-of-the-art for low-cost solar cells such as organic solar cells.

Supramolecular thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomer materials with self-healing ability - paper published in NPG Asia Materials

Supramolecular thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomer materials with self-healing ability - paper published in NPG Asia Materials

26.05.2017

Our paper titled "Supramolecular thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomer materials with self-healing ability based on oligomeric charged triblock", by Lenny Voorhaar, Maria Mercedes Diaz, Frederic Leroux, Sarah Rogers, Artem M Abakumov, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, Guy Van Assche, Bruno Van Mele and Richard Hoogenboom, got published by NPG Asia Materials. In this study we demonstrate the unique mechanical properties of phase-separated electrostatic supramolecular materials based on mixing of low molar mass, oligomeric, ABA-triblock copolyacrylates with oppositely charged outer blocks. A broad set of materials having systematic variations in triblock copolymer structures was used to provide insights in the mechanical properties and and self-healing ability in correlation with the nanomorphology of the materials. This research was supported by the Strategic Initiative for Materials (SIM-Flanders Project NAPROM).