Transformations in polymers, such as polymerization, melting and crystallization, and phase separation and remixing, are often accompanied by changes in the rheological and thermal properties. Moreover, the influence of flow on these transitions, on the one hand, and the occurrence of flow-induced transitions, on the other hand, play a crucial role in polymer processing.
This project aims at the development and experimental exploration of a hybrid experimental technique allowing for simultaneous rheometric and calorimetric measurements of high quality. Combining the techniques in a single instrument offers key-advantages. It allows for simultaneous measurements of the evolution of heat flow and chemorheological properties on a single sample, thus delivering a large amount of information in a single measurement, making it suitable for high throughput screening of materials. Moreover, flow-induced transitions, the influence of flow on transformations, and the dynamics of polymer in general can be studied with this hyphenated technique.
The project starts from the design and development of a prototype RheoDSC, supported by numerical modelling of the heat transfer and stress distribution in sample and instrument. The explorative experimental research using this technique focuses on systems in which polymerization, crystallisation and melting, or phase separation and remixing occur.