• Source: Scopus
20172020

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Quote

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 a doctoral candidate in the group of Polymer Technology 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, which are increasingly used in low-friction and wear applications. 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) for an internship, where he experimentally quantified an anomalous nucleation phenomenon that is often observed in polypropylene. Under the supervision of his internship and thesis advisors, he enrolled as a doctoral candidate at the TU/e in 2018.

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