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EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices

The EPSRC Centre in Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices will research and develop advanced methods for functionally stratified design and near patient manufacturing, to enable cost effective matching of device function to the patient needs and surgical environment. This will deliver "the right product, by the right process to the right patient at the right time" to an enhanced standard of reliability and performance.

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Shape memory bone and soft tissue fixations

Building on our current research, we will explore enhanced bone to bone and soft tissue to bone fixation devices made from bionert and bioresorbable shape memory polymers (SMP). These recover or partially recover an initial shape when subject to an appropriate stimulus (usually heating) above their glass transition temperature. SMPs will be structured by processing operations, to obtain controlled molecular orientation, whose recovery drives shape reversion.

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Resilient Materials for Life (RM4L)

The EPSRC funded Resilient Materials 4 Life (RM4L) programme grant will change not only our approach to civil engineering design but also our engagement with industry and the resilience of our construction materials.

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RM4L Polymer MNT

Flow induced crystallisation in polymers: from molecules to processing

Polymer processing is a multi-billion pound, world-wide industry, manufacturing products used by virtually every person in the developed world (and beyond) on a daily basis. This vital sector of the UK economy will gain a significant competitive advantage from a molecular understanding of how polymers crystallise during processing, as it will enable stronger, lighter, more durable and more easily recycled plastic products. In this proposal we will overcome the key experimental, simulation and numerical issues in understanding polymer crystallisation to deliver a molecular based, predictive platform for the processing of semi-crystalline polymers.

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High efficiency value-added bulk recycling of polymers by solid state shear milling

Over 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced annually and this is expected to double over the next 20 years. Plastics have become vital materials in many aspects of everyday life but the generation of plastics solid waste (PSW) is becoming an increasing problem, for example 8 million tonnes of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans each year, having a huge impact on marine ecosystems. Some relatively clean and easy to separate types of waste plastics can be recycled economically, such as drinks bottles, and levels of recycling are increasing but many polymeric materials are much more difficult to recycle, for example composites containing different materials of polymers which cannot be re-melted such as rubber tyres and printed circuit boards. As such there is an urgent need worldwide to develop new technically and economically feasible methods to recycle these types of materials. This aligns with the concept of a circular economy which seeks to keep products and materials in use and design out waste and pollution.

The project is in collaboration with Sichuan University China.

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