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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: Christopher W. Macosko, Associate Fellow

Coarsening Dynamics of Co-Continuous Blends

Co-continuous polymer blends consist of distinct phases. The microstructure is sponge-like where one of the phases plays the role of the sponge and the other(s) its complement. While there have been previous studies of such blends, most have been experimental and the physical processes leading to the development of co-continuous morphologies and their properties are still poorly understood. These researchers are engaged in theoretical, numerical, and experimental studies to attempt to find a unique insight in characterizing these processes. Large-scale computation and computational mathematics are now primary tools in studying physical processes characterized by randomness and nonlinearity. Co-continuous polymer blends are ideal examples of such processes in which complex, randomly oriented patterns form by nonlinear interaction among interfaces, flow, and phase-transitions. A study of these processes is inherently multidisciplinary and involves fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, material science, computational mathematics, and interactions with experiments.

Group Members

Carlos Rene Lopez Barron, Graduate Student
Dawud Tan, Graduate Student