The group has specific equipments that complements the Characterization Unit of the ICTP.

Processing Lab

Three Roll Mill Exakt 80 E

Three roll mill electronic model is ideal to disperse fillers in viscous matrix (resins, polyols, etc). The shearing forces to break agglomerates are generated by three hardcrome-plated rollers where speed and gap (minimum 5 µm) settings are controlled electronically. The machine is equipped with a cooling-heating unit which allows the temperature control on roller surface in a range of -10 – 100 °C.

Internal mixer Haake Rheomix 9000

Haake Rheomix with twin-roll mixer is ideal for the preparation of polymer blends and composite materials. It has a camera with a capacity of 60 cm3 and can work up to 350 ºC. Specific rotors for thermoplastic matrices and elastomers are available.

Tubular Furnace Carbolite TZF

Optimum temperature control, it is ideal to carry out heat treatments up to 1200 ºC in vacuum or inert atmosphere. It is primary used for the synthesis of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and for the thermal reduction of graphite oxide.

Vacuum Assisted Resin Infusion (VARI) System

is an open-top mold composite part fabricating method. It involves the impregnation of a dry reinforcement by liquid thermoset resin driven under vacuum. In this process dry preform fabrics are placed in an open mould and a plastic vacuum bag is placed on the top of the mould, which is then placed under vacuum. Curing and de-moulding steps follow the impregnation process to finish the product. A custom-made polymerisation table enables complex curing/post-curing protocols for any type of resin.

Hot Bonder Aeroform AHB-SZ16

It is a simple and self-contained composite repair system. It performs all the operations necessary for efficient field curing of composite resins. It provides a system, comprising temperature measurements and control, vacuum generation and monitoring.

General purpose equipments

We have well equipped labs with general purposes small equipments, such as thermostatic vacuum drier, ultrasounds, ultraturrax, reactors, stirrers, vacuum ovens, analytical balance, casting, among others, for the preparation of the polymer composites and the functionalisation of the nanoparticles.

Cryogenic ball mill, Retsch Cryomill

The CryoMill is ideal for cryogenic grinding. The grinding jar is continually cooled with liquid nitrogen before and during the grinding process. Its versatility (cryogenic, wet and dry grinding at room temperature) makes the CryoMill the ideal grinder for size reduction, mixing and homogenization of hard, medium-hard, soft, brittle, elastic, and fibrous materials in quantities up to 20 ml.

Electrospinning Unit Yflow Electrospinner 2.2

Coaxial electrospinning machine enables the fabrication of core-shell and plain nanofibres membranes and sheets based on various polymers. Nanofibres of different shape and orientations can be manufactured.

Characterisation Lab

Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) Metrotec

It measures the relative flammability of a material by evaluating the minimum concentration of oxygen in precisely controlled oxygen-nitrogen mixture that will just support flaming combustion of a specimen. The tests are performed in accordance with the ASTM D 2863 standard.

Thermal conductivity TA Instruments FOX-50

It measures the thermal conductivity across the sample of a variety of materials, polymers, composites, glasses, etc., of low to medium thermal conductivity. It works in a temperature range from -20 ºC to 300 ºC. The tests are performed in accordance with the ASTM E 1530 standard.

Multichannel potentiostat/galvanost Biologic Sci. Instruments VMP3

Up to 16 independent channels. Current ranging from 10 μA up to 400 mA. Simultaneous EIS measurement on WE and CE-to-Ground mode to perform experiments with several working electrodes, one counter and one reference electrode. Current resolution: 760 pA. EIS measurement from 10 µHz to 1 MHz. Acquisition time: 20 μs.

Universal testing machine Instron 2204

It performs the mechanical characterization of materials according to standards. It includes fixtures for different tests (tension, compression and bending), load cells (10 kN, 30 kN and 100 kN), and extensometers.

Impact test Ceast

It is designed for determining the resilience of plastics and composites according to standards belonging to Charpy and Izod methods, ranging in energy from 0.5 to 50 J.

Scanning vibrating needle curemeter Rapra Technology, Scanning VNC

It is a simple and robust instrument which is capable of providing a continuous profile of liquid polymer curves

Electro-mechanical analysis

It is composed of a high voltage unit coupled with a digital microscope and controlled through a custom-made data acquisition program using LabView software (National Instruments).