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Mastering the microstructure development in semi-crystalline materials is essential to understand, predict and improve the performance of a polymeric product

Research profile

Stan Looijmans is an Assistant Professor in the Processing & Performance of Materials group at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The scope of his research is bridging the gap between processing-induced structure formation and (micro)mechanical properties. The viscoelastic nature of polymer melts results in rich morphologies when semi-crystalline systems are processed by extrusion or injection molding. By tuning the crystallization conditions, the stiffness, strength, impact or wear resistance can be varied over several orders of magnitude. Key topics are the quantification of structure at the nanoscale using synchrotron x-ray and infrared radiation, the development of microscale mechanical testing methods and the numerical simulation of both the crystallization process and the local mechanical response of the resulting microstructure. Other areas of interest include crystallization in additive manufacturing processes, structure formation at extreme conditions (high pressure and temperature), micromechanical testing of fiber-reinforced composites and contact mechanics. The joint aim is to be able to predict local failure in semi-crystalline structures.

Academic background

Stan Looijmans obtained both his BSc and MSc degree (with great appreciation) at the TU/e department of Mechanical Engineering, working on the contact mechanics of thermoplastic and thermoset polymers. His thesis, entitled “Contact mechanics of isotactic polypropylene” highlights the importance of absolute control over the processing history of such materials, as minor changes in the intrinsic response may lead to a substantial reduction in the wear resistance. During his studies, Stan joined the semi-crystalline polymers group at the Università degli studi di Genova (UniGe), where he experimentally quantified an anomalous nucleation phenomenon that is often observed in polypropylene. Stan enrolled as a doctoral candidate at the TU/e in 2018 and defended his doctoral thesis entitled "Adhesion-modified polypropylene composites: a sticky situation" in 2023. He systematically assessed the intricate interplay between processing, resulting microstructure, and subsequent mechanical performance of fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. As of July 2023 he continued his work as Assistant Professor in the Processing & Performance of Materials group within the Department of Mechanical Engineering (TU/e). 


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