Polymer Composite Processing Laboratory

The Polymer Composite Processing Laboratory is well equipped to process both thermoplastic as well as thermoset polymers. With two DSM mini-extruders, batch sizes as small as 25 grams can be blended, allowing  researchers to work with limited supply or to save costs when using expensive materials such as carbon nanotubes. Integral to the mini-extruder is the mini-injection molder to make tensile bars, impact specimens, or discs for rheology or other measurements. 

Complementary to the mini-extruders is the Leistritz 27mm Twin Screw Extrusion System with switchable co-rotating and counter-rotating capabilities. The barrel has an aspect ratio of 48, and a processing temperature range of 20- 400ºC. It is equipped with a side feeder, and two gravimetric stock feeders. Down-line configuration may be set up for fabricating pellets with the 3-strand die, cooling trough, and pelletizer, or for making films using the 6-inch flexible lip film die, three-roll chill stack, and winder. The Leistritz extruder has the flexibility to meet nearly every thermoplastic compounding requirement.
Elastomeric compounds are processed on the Bolling Two-Roll Mill. Each 8” diameter, 16” wide chromed roll is dependently driven to achieve an infinitely variable friction ratio between 1:1 and 2:1. The rolls are oil heated, with a maximum operating temperature of 230ºC.
The Cincinnati Milacron 85 ton injection molder is capable of shot sizes to 6 ounces, and the CMSC has molds to make tensile bars, impact specimens, flexural beams, and 6 x 6 inch plaques for tup impact. Pellets can be dried using a desiccant dryer prior to molding. 
Unidirectional prepreg is made with the Research Tool hot-melt prepregger. Using continuous fibers, such as 12k carbon tow, a prepreg up to 12 inch width by 6 foot length is made with thermosetting resins, most notably aerospace grade epoxy resins. Consolidation is completed in the United McGill Minibonder autoclave, capable of 700oF at 300 psi yielding a part size up to 12 inch width by 36 inch length. The hot-melt prepregger combined with the autoclave gives the CMSC the ability to make advanced composites used in the aerospace industry. 
The Polymer Composite Processing Laboratory equipment is made available on rental basis.  Techical support is provided to process the client's materials on a time and materials basis.  Please contact Mike Rich at 517.353.4696 or rich@egr.msu.edu to explore opportunites to utilyze the advanced facilities of the Composite Materials and Structures Center.
Lab Address: 

Please contact Mike Rich for more information. 

Telephone 517.353.4696  or rich@egr.msu.edu